Pizza Express has appointed a new chairman and chief executive, Allan Leighton and David Campbell respectively, and reduced its debt pile by £400m after completing its recapitalisation.
The new capital structure has reduced debt by more than £400million, from £735million to £319million, and includes the immediate injection of £40million of new capital.
The business also has a further £90million of funds available from the new owners.
It has been a difficult year for Pizza Express. Just last week it announced plans to cut an additional 1,300 jobs across the UK, on top of the 1,100 announced this summer.
The restaurant chain will also push forward with plans to permanently shutter 73 restaurants across the country.
Fewer than 10 of the Italian restaurant chain’s sites were loss-making in March, before the coronavirus crisis hit the UK, according to the Mail on Sunday.
However, the pandemic has put pressure on Pizza Express to evaluate options for the future.
New chairman Allan Leighton said: “This is a unique opportunity in casual dining. With a significant recapitalisation of the company, and substantial further funds committed, we look to building on our position as a leader in the casual dining market, once Covid restrictions are eased.
“There is great future for Pizza Express delivering great pizza and a brilliant customer experience.”
New chief executive David Campbell added: “The chance to steer the company to even greater heights in the years ahead is an honour.”
Zoe Bowley, managing director of Pizza Express UK & Ireland, will be joining the main board, alongside group CFO Andy Pellington.