Italian chain Prezzo will permanently close 22 restaurants after being bought out of pre-pack administration by private equity firm Cain International.
As a result of the deal, 22 of the high street stalwart’s 178 restaurants will not reopen. Cain said that 216 of its 2,900 jobs would be lost.
The deal came after Prezzo was forced to go into administration after failing to reach agreement with landlords on rent payments..
Earlier this week Sky News reported that Cain, which purchased the restaurant group’s debt and equity in December, was mulling putting the firm into an insolvency process.
Jonathan Goldstein, Chief Executive of Cain International, said:
“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.
“We are deeply sorry for all those affected by the permanent closure of the 22 non-viable restaurants. It was a difficult but essential decision to take but doing so will allow us to save thousands of jobs and create more in the future.”
Earlier this week Sky News reported that Cain was considering putting the restaurant group through an insolvency process.
When it bought the brand, the firm said that it would support Prezzo’s ambition to become the “UK’s favourite Italian” and help reinvigorate high streets as they begin to recover from the Covid-19 crisis.
Prezzo first put itself up for sale back in July in response to the impact of the first coronavirus lockdown.
As of this week, Prezzo’s restaurants had been able to operate for just 25 weeks out of the previous 52 weeks but with fixed costs and rent accumulating.