PizzaExpress’s Owner Starts Tackling Debt With Bond Buyback

PizzaExpress‘s owner took a first step toward tackling the company’s debt pile, offering to buy back bonds that are due to mature in 2022, Yahoo Finance reported. Private equity firm Hony Capital will purchase as much as 80 million pounds ($103 million) of the company’s 200 million pounds of unsecured notes due August 2022, according to a statement sent to investors and confirmed by the company’s spokesman. PizzaExpress also said it hired advisers Houlihan Lokey Inc. and Kirkland & Ellis as it seeks to extend or refinance a 20 million-pound credit facility maturing in August. The bonds rose 10 pence on the pound to 24 pence on Wednesday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. A national icon for many Britons, PizzaExpress has been caught up in a broader malaise of rising costs and changing consumer habits forcing many retailers and leisure companies to close sites and seek protection from creditors. Read more