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Lenders set to take over PizzaExpress and restructure business

16 July 2020 by

PizzaExpress could be taken over by its lenders in a debt-for-equity swap with owner Hony Capital, which is likely to include closures.

According to the Financial Times investors in the £465m worth of bonds that back the company are in talks with its Chinese owners that may result in them taking ownership of the business.

As part of the restructuring it is reported that PizzaExpress with pursue a Company Voluntary Agreement, which will mean the closure of some of its 450 UK sites.

Hony Capital acquired PizzaExpress in 2014 and has lent the brand around £500m, with another £607.7m owed to external creditors, according to its 2018 annual report.

The restaurant chain, which was founded in 1965 by Peter Boizot and has around 477 sites in the UK and Ireland, faces a repayment bill of £465m due this year, with another £200m due in 2022.

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