The private equity firm which bought Italian chain Prezzo in December is reportedly mulling putting the restaurant group through an insolvency process.
Sky News reported that Cain International was considering a number of options, including pre-pack administration, as uncertainty over the future of the casual dining sector goes on.
The firm, which also owns Swingers crazy golf, is currently in talks with multiple landlords about future rent arrangements and the payment of arrears.
It is reportedly working with FTI Consulting on what option to take, depending on the outcomes of the talks.
Cain International bought up Prezzo in December in what was seen as a vote of confidence in the sector, which has been laid low by the pandemic.
At the time, the firm said that it would support Prezzo’s ambition to become the “UK’s favourite Italian” and help reinvigorate high streets as they begin to recover from the Covid-19 crisis.
But with the UK currently in the midst of a third national lockdown, and details of the lifting of restrictions yet to materialise, concerns over the future of high street stalwarts like Prezzo goes on.
As a result of the pandemic, numerousprominent chains, including the owners of Ask Italian, Pizza Express, Leon and Wahaca, used insolvency processes last year.
A spokesperson for Cain International said: “The current, open-ended lockdown, enforced in January 2021, resulted in the required closure of all Prezzo’s 178 restaurants.
“As such, we are continuing our discussions with stakeholders such as our landlords, to protect the future of this brilliant brand and its dedicated team.”
City A.M. has contacted Prezzo for comment.