Caffè Nero is to enter into a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) after rejecting a takeover bid from the billionaire brothers behind the EG Group chain of petrol stations.
Over 90% of creditors, including the majority of landlords, voted to approve the restructuring plan yesterday (30 November).
The move will see a number of sites switch to turnover-based rents. It is not certain if any stores will close, but if they do the numbers are expected to be minimal.
Caffè Nero employs more than 6,000 people across 800 stores in the UK. Many are located in city centres or transport hubs and have struggled with a drop in footfall.
The CVA vote went ahead after the coffee chain rejected an eleventh-hour bid to buy the company by the Issa brothers, who own EG Group.
The Issas had proposed paying Caffè Nero's landlords in full for rent arrears accrued during the pandemic, but the café group said the offer was made ‘without any understanding' of its financial and trading position.
The CVA was amended ahead of the vote to ensure creditors, including landlords, will have their debts paid in full if EG Group acquires the company within the next six months.
A spokesperson for Caffè Nero said: "After the devastating effect caused by the pandemic on Caffè Nero, the approval of this CVA by the company's creditors safeguards the immediate future of the business, and provides a sustainable platform from which the company can navigate the challenges ahead, and rebuild sales momentum over the medium to longer term."
Caffè Nero also operates around 150 stores under brands such as Coffee #1 and Harris & Hoole, which are not part of the CVA.