The new owners of Prezzo are to permanently close 22 of its restaurants, but insist the move will safeguard the future of the business after a year of turmoil.
More than 200 jobs will be lost as a result of the restructuring, which comes as all 178 of its sites remain closed during the lockdown.
Private investment firm Cain International purchased the chain as a going concern back in December and has now bought it back from administrators in a pre-pack deal to secure its future.
Prezzo’s restaurant estate has only been open for the equivalent of a half year during the last 12 months, but fixed costs and rents have caused its debt pile to increase.
Jonathan Goldstein, chief executive of Cain International, stated: “We firmly believe that strong hospitality businesses, such as Prezzo, have a bright future and will play an essential role in reviving the UK economy. However, to do so, we must get through this current crisis of mounting liabilities and no revenues.
“The lack of visibility on when and how the sector will reopen has heightened economic uncertainty to the point where decisive action had to be taken to secure the future of the business and the majority of jobs for Prezzo’s people.”
Mr Cain said he was “deeply sorry” for the staff affected by the closure of 22 non-viable sites, but said the decision would allow the majority of its 2,900-strong workforce to be kept on.
Cain International’s current UK hospitality and leisure portfolio includes experiential crazy golf brand Swingers; Maslow’s Group, which operates private members’ club Mortimer House; and The AllBright, the collective for women in business.