The Italian restaurant business Prezzo is planning to close 92 UK outlets – about a third of the chain – putting up to 1,800 jobs at risk.
The chain, which is owned by private equity firm TPG Capital and employs about 4,500 people, is closing all of the 33 outlets of its TexMex chain Chimichanga.
Under the rescue plan, approved by creditors, rents will be cut by between 25% and 50% at 57 sites in a bid to repair Prezzo’s financial position and allow it to continue trading. The deal was struck under a restructuring arrangement know as a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) – a step short of going into administration.
Prezzo was bought by TPG in 2014 for just over £300m and is the latest of a number of restaurant chains to run into difficulties. Burger chain Byron and Jamie’s Italian have both had to undergo similar restructurings this year, agreeing rescue plans with their lenders and landlords, and closing restaurants.
Analysts say that wage growth has not kept up with inflation, which has hit the spending power of shoppers, and business rates will rise for many firms in April. Many firms are also facing increasing competition from online retailers.