Pizza Express is the latest high street chain facing uncertainty, Havering Business’ Simon Ford writes.

Havering Local Businesses is fairly confident that the chain, which has a restaurant in Upminster, Romford, and Lakeside, has employed advisers to prepare for debt talks with creditors amid hard buying and selling prerequisites for casual dining chains in the UK.

It is understood that the talks with creditors are meant to look at a feasible reorganisation of its large debts, which presently stand at £665 million.

An industry source stated these talks with creditors are “not unusual”, however “could imply that covenants have been damaged over its debt repayment”.

Debt covenants are terms set out between creditors and groups which generally country limits or monetary thresholds which the agency is no longer allowed to breach. This could involve certain sales or income expectations.

In the first half of 2019, Pizza Express reported a 0.2 per cent rise in like-for-like income amid challenging trading conditions.

The corporation additionally posted 7.7 per cent decline in underlying earnings to £32.4 million for the period, with the droop blamed on rising costs.

The company, which used to be offered through Chinese private equity association Hony Capital in 2014, has to pay the first instalment of its repayments, really worth £465 million in secured bonds, by August 2021.

Its subsequent repayment for £200 million in unsecured notes is due to be repaid with the aid of the following year.

Pizza Express was founded in 1965 by means of Peter Boizot and it now has over 450 eating places across the UK, and a hundred more in Europe, Hong Kong, China and India.

This comes after Pizza Express’ important Italian restaurant competitor Prezzo shut down the majority of its eating places.

The organization secured the backing of creditors for Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) on Friday, which will enable the Italian-themed chain to exit unprofitable branches and impenetrable lease reductions.

This led to ninety four closures and 500 job cuts.

Jamie Oliver’s Italian chain additionally filed for insolvency in May this year, with all but three of the TV chef’s 25 UK eating places shutting its doors.

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