Prezzo restructuring approved by High Court

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Prezzo restructuring approved by High Court

Related tags Prezzo Cain International Casual dining Multi-site R200 Restructuring

Prezzo’s restructuring plan, which saw it close nearly a third of its estate earlier this year, has been approved by High Court, marking the end of the group’s ‘strategic reshaping’.

The Italian casual dining chain says the approval will allow it to ‘focus on securing a long-term, sustainable future across a 97-restaurant portfolio’, which it adds have delivered ‘strong like for like sales’ in 2023.

“This decision brings to an end our strategic review enabling us to focus on building a quality led, profitable and sustainable business,” says Dean Challenger, chief executive of Prezzo.

“Our restaurants are in the right locations, offering quality food and drink to our customers, served by teams committed to delivering an exceptional customer experience.”

Prezzo, which is backed by Cain International, announced in late April that it would be closing 46 loss-making sites across the country following a strategic review of the business​, putting 810 jobs at risk of redundancy.

At the time, the group said soaring inflation had made it impossible to keep all its restaurants operating profitably, and warned creditors that it would ‘likely enter into administration’ should the restructuring plan not be implemented​.

All 46 sites listed at the time are understood to have since closed.

According to Bloomberg​, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) had objected to the restructure and argued that that it was being used by Prezzo to avoid paying tax that it owed.

More than £11m is reportedly owed to HMRC by Prezzo.

Around £32m is also owed to landlords by the group and will be compromised by the High Court’s decision.

However, in his ruling, the Honourable Mr Justice Richard Smith said: “I am satisfied in all the circumstances of this case that the plan is a fair one.”

Prezzo says it is now ‘well positioned to cater to changing consumer habits’, with plans to invest in continued menu development and high-quality ingredients, whilst also working to balance the cost-of-living crisis and increasing food costs.

The restructure plans are supported by Cain International.

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