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Pizza Express facing talks over £1bn debts

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Pizza Express in Tonbridge High Street

The high street pizza chain has reportedly hired advisors to guide it through debt talks with its creditors amid tough trading conditions for United Kingdom restaurant chains.

In its 2018 accounts, Pizza Express reported net debt of £1.1bn, with interest charges of £93.1m, resulting in a pre-tax loss of £55m.

According to The Mirror, £655.6 million is due to be repaid by August 2022 with a large chunk of it in August 2021.

Fears have been raised over the future of Pizza Express.

Pizza Express, which has over 450 restaurants across the United Kingdom, could be on the brink of collapse.

The information comes after rival Jamie's Italian closed, with the lack of 1,000 jobs.

The firm have reportedly hired financial adviser Houlihan Lokey Inc.to prepare for the discussions.

Leigh Sparks, professor of retail studies at Stirling University, said: "The cost of doing business is a major issue right hnow and there is no reason that Pizza Express would be immune to that".

BBC Radio 1's Nick Grimshaw called it "the most devastating news of the year". Whatever it takes to save @PizzaExpress!

Pizza Express has been contacted by Express.co.uk for comment.

As a fourth dramatically chipped in: "If Pizza express goes bust I'll literally cry".

The business, which has restaurants at Trinity Walk, Wakefield and Xscape, Castleford, is said to be blaming "tough trading conditions for United Kingdom restaurant chains".

Jamie Oliver's restaurant chain filed for insolvency in the spring.

"I would also like to thank all the customers who have enjoyed and supported us over the last decade, it's been a real pleasure serving you".

Are we heading towards a world without pizza?!

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