Pizza Express has reportedly hired advisers to help fix its debt bill, leading to fears it might be the next chain to go bust.
The popular restaurant is thought to have struggled with rising costs and a tough UK trading environment.
Pizza Express was launched in London in 1965 by restaurateur Peter Boizot and in 2014 it was bought by Hony Capital, a Chinese private equity group.
Today it has over 490 restaurants across the UK and Ireland, as well as over 100 sites worldwide.
The chain has now hired financial advisers ahead of discussions over the restaurant group’s soaring debts.
The group’s most recent accounts show the chain’s total debt was £1.12billion at the end of last year – working out at £1.79million a restaurant.
Of that, £655.6million is due to be repaid by August 2022 – a large chunk of it in August 2021.
Bloomberg said representatives for PizzaExpress and financial service firms Houlihan Lokey and Perella Weinberg declined to comment.
This comes just months after the UK lost Jamie’s Italian from the High Street.