Tuesday, August 04, 2020 5:25 a.m. EDT by Thomson Reuters

(Reuters) – Privately held restaurant group PizzaExpress said on Tuesday it could shut nearly 15% of its UK restaurants, putting 1,100 jobs at risk, as part of a restructuring deal to help reduce debt and infuse capital.

The company, which operates 449 restaurants in the UK and is currently owned by Chinese private equity firm Hony Capital, said it had started a sale process to find a new owner.

PizzaExpress said it will soon launch a company voluntary arrangement in the UK as part of an agreement with some of its secured creditors and its majority shareholder.

The deal includes reducing the company’s external debt from 735 million pounds ($959.84 million) to 319 million pounds,

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