PizzaExpress, the international casual dining group, recently has successfully completed a holistic debt restructuring. Via a comprehensive restructuring plan agreed by bondholders and shareholders, involving debt-for-equity swap, debt extension, carve-out of China business, etc., PizzaExpress’ total indebtedness is substantially reduced by about £1 billion (comprising a reduction of over £400 million external debt and a write-off of shareholder loans of about £538 million) with new funding of about £144 million provided, enabling the group to better respond to the continuing impact of the epidemic on the global catering industry.
Zhong Lun Law Firm acted as the PRC legal counsel to PizzaExpress group in the restructuring and provided legal support for the restructuring plan and the carve-out of the group’s China business. The Zhong Lun team was led by partner ZHANG Decai and included attorneys HUANG Xingyu and Jean LIN. Partners WANG Bing, Carol ZHU, Jimmy HUANG, JIANG Hao and Frank JIANG supported the deal by advising respectively on bankruptcy and restructuring, employment, intellectual property, tax, antitrust, etc. The transaction clearly demonstrates Zhong Lun’s strength in offering full range and one-stop legal service in complex cross-border transactions.