A sale is on the menu for Italian chain Prezzo as the casual dining sector struggles with tougher trading

 
Alys Key
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Prezzo made a loss last year of £16.3m (Source: Edward Hands)

Italian restaurant chain Prezzo is being primed for a sale, as the casual dining sector struggles with a tougher trading environment.

Sources told the Sunday Times that the brand’s private equity owner TPG Capital is seeking potential buyers.

TPG declined to comment when contacted by City A.M.

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Cafe Rouge owner Casual Dining Group has been named as a possible bidder, but a spokesperson for the company declined to comment.

Prezzo made a loss of £16.3m last year, against a backdrop of weaker trading across the industry as a whole.

The owners of fellow Italian chains Franco Manca and Wildwood have both warned on weaker consumer sentiment and higher running costs this year.

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Higher importing costs on ingredients have impacted the bottom line for many casual restaurant operators, while the impact of the National Living Wage and the apprenticeship levy has been cited as an additional cost by several companies.

Franco Manco owner Fulham Shore also said that sales had slowed as consumers become more wary, especially in areas of outer London.

Wildwood owner Tasty indicated similar problems in its first half results, saying the whole sector faces a difficult trading outlook.

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