Ripon branch of Prezzo under threat

Documents published by Italian restraint chain Prezzo have revealed that the Ripon branch of the restaurant could close.

More than 90 restaurants across the country could be closed
More than 90 restaurants across the country could be closed

More than 90 restaurants have been earmarked for closure across the country under a proposed Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) published over the weekend, including the Market Place branch.

The CVA outlines the company is facing revenue and sales decline, along with owing secured creditors, including £29 million to Barclays Bank, and trade creditors, including almost £3,000 to Leeds City Council.

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Jon Hendry-Pickup, CEO of Prezzo, said: “Prezzo’s core business today is fundamentally strong and has fantastic potential. However, the well-documented pressures on our industry mean a number of our restaurants are underperforming. While we continue to be profitable and cash-generative, our position is not sustainable, so we must take decisive action now to ensure we’re able to thrive in the future.”

"While the 208 restaurants that make up that core will continue to trade as normal, the company expects that 94 will be closed as part of the process. Closures are expected to commence from April 2018. Every effort will be made to redeploy those team members affected by the closures.

He added: “We recognise this process will impact many of our team members and their families. We are committed to keeping them informed, and will be doing all we can to support them during this difficult time.”

While the CVA could see branches closed and seek rent reductions from landlords at unprofitable locations it still requires approval from shareholders, 75 per cent must first sign off on the plan.

Branches across the country were organised into seven categories, with Prezzo in Ripon identified along with 93 others as 'having no prospect of being restored to viability, even if a reduction in rent paid is obtained.'

Closures are expected to begin from April according to the company.

This story will be updated as more details are made available.