Pizza Express has been given the green light to permanently shut 73 restaurants, putting 1,100 jobs at risk.
The majority of creditors backed the restructuring plans on Monday morning, which will also see it secure rent reductions.
It needed a minimum of 75% of creditors to vote in favour of the deal. The chain said 89% of creditors voted for the Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) arrangement.
Pizza Express, which operates from South Methven Street in Perth and South Street in St Andrews, said the restructure – which came to light last month – was necessary to try to stay afloat in the wake of the coronavirus shutdown.
Both the St Andrews and Perth pizzerias will remain open under the plans.
Pizza Express said that although the majority of its restaurants were profitable before lockdown was imposed, earnings had been declining across its estate for the last three years.
In a statement, Pizza Express said: “The successful vote unlocks the company’s ability to actively address the challenges brought by Covid-19, securing over 9,000 jobs in the UK.
“The directors of Pizza Express thank its creditors for their support during this period and look forward to ongoing partnership as the hospitality industry recovers to growth.”
The company, which is majority-owned by Chinese firm Hony Capital, also confirmed last month that it had hired advisers from Lazard to lead a sale process for the business.
Pizza Express said it currently has 355 restaurants open in the UK, with more than 30 due to reopen in the coming weeks.
The restructuring will also see a significant de-leveraging on the group’s external debt, reducing it from £735 million to £319m.
Around £144m of new funds will be pumped into the business to drive future growth.
The full list of 73 Pizza Express to close:
Aberdeen – Belmont Street
Barnstaple – Three Tuns
Birmingham – Corporation Street
Birmingham – Mailbox
Bournemouth – Post Office Road
Bristol – Berkeley Square
Bristol – Regent Street
Dudley – Merry Hill
Earls Court – Earls Court Road
Edinburgh – Holyrood
Fulham Palace Road
Glasgow – Princes Square
Ipswich – Lloyds Avenue
Leeds – Crown Street
Leeds – Horsforth
Newport – Isle of Wight
Newport – South Wales
Nottingham – Goosegate
Oxford – Oxford Castle
Reading – St Mary’s Butts
Sheffield – Devonshire Street
Sheffield The Moor
Southport – Old Bank
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