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Restaurant chain Prezzo to close a third of its UK branches

Italian restaurant chain Prezzo is expected to close as many as 100 outlets as part of a restructuring, putting up to 1,500 jobs under threat.

The move will also see Prezzo-owned Tex-Mex restaurant Chimichanga close all its 33 branches in the United Kingdom too. The Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) will be overseen by advisory firm AlixPartner, and is likely to involve negotiations with landlords to try to reduce rents at numerous restaurants that remain.

Private equity firm TPG bought Prezzo for £304m in 2015, and has now appointed consultants at AlixPartners to review its options last month.

It is the latest blow to the high street with fellow restaurants Jamie’s Italian and Byron both agreeing CVAs in recent weeks and Toys R Us and Maplin collapsing into administration on Wednesday. Further job losses look likely.

Since 2016 Prezzo has been run by Jon Hendry Pickup, a former Travelodge executive. People close to his plans said that TPG and Prezzo’s management faced a choice of taking decisive action now in an attempt to rebuild the business, or drift along with its performance dragged down by a large number of unprofitable restaurants.

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