Italian high street staple Prezzo has become the latest restaurant chain to seek out a buyer, as the dining industry looks set to emerge from the coronavirus crisis with a slew of bankruptcies and widespread job losses.
Prezzo has reportedly asked corporate advisors FRP Advisory to orchestrate an auction of the chain as its 180 restaurants across the UK prepare to open doors to customers once again on July 4th. The company currently employs over 3,000 staff, the majority of whom have been enrolled onto the UK government’s furlough scheme since March.
The chain is part-owned by American investment firm TPG Capital, a $103 billion buyout tycoon that also owns clothing brand J. Crew. A source close to Prezzo has stated that its shareholders intend to streamline the company’s current ownership model.
Prezzo joins the long list of brands that have struggled to stay afloat during the UK government’s strict lockdown. The complete paralysis of the retail and services sector has already seen the collapse of a number of iconic household names, including Victoria’s Secret, TM Lewin and Byron Burger.
Over the past 48 hours alone, a total of 12,000 UK employees have been made redundant. John Lewis and Airbus are among the companies to announce restructuring plans as they prepare for the post-coronavirus scene, with social distancing measures expected to stay in place until the end of the year.