Thursday 2 July 2020 9:51 am

Prezzo taps advisers to oversee sale process

Italian restaurant chain Prezzo has appointed an advisory firm to explore a sale, as it seeks new funding in order to survive the coronavirus crisis.

FRP Advisory has been brought on board to oversee the process and lead an auction of the business, Sky News reported.

Prezzo is currently preparing to reopen a number of its restaurants as government restrictions on the hospitality industry are set to lift this weekend.

Read more: What pubs, cinemas and hairdressers will look like under new lockdown rules

A source close to Prezzo told the news outlet that the company’s leadership believe the chain would benefit from simplifying its ownership structure.

Prezzo, which employs about 3,000 people, is part-owned by US buyout giant TPG, along with a number of other funds.

The chain was said to have been trading positively prior to lockdown measures coming into force in March, with the sale to go ahead listing the company as a going concern.

Prezzo declined to comment.

Around a fifth of its restaurants will open this weekend, with the remaining outlets set to open gradually over the summer.

Read more: Coronavirus: Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Ask Italian owner Azzurri appoint advisers

However the market is crowded. Rival restaurants ASK Italian and Zizzi — owned by the Azzuri Group — are also up for sale, while the conglomerate behind Las Iguanas and Bella Italia is similarly seeking buyers.

Prezzo was hit by financial difficulties two years ago, as a restructuring process saw it close dozens of locations.