PIzza Express' first location on Wardour Street in London.

Pizza Express | Facebook

Pizza Express to Renegotiate a £1.2 Billion Debt

The nationally-beloved British pizza chain, Pizza Express, is staring down a barrel of a debt of over a billion pounds.

Bloomberg reports that the Pizza Express hired financial adviser Houlihan Lokey Inc. to prepare for debt renegotiation with creditors. The casual dining chain has £465 million ($573 million) of secured bonds due August 2021 and £200 million of unsecured notes due 2022.  The latter is a loan repayable to Pizza Express’s current owner, Hony Capital, the Chinese private equity that bought it in 2014 for £900 million ($1.54 billion).

BBC reports that the interest alone on the enormous debt costs the company £93 million a year, wiping out its operating profit.

Pizza lovers flew to Twitter to mourn the beloved pizza chain, believing that a massive debt would cause it to fold.

However, the business editor at INews, Laurie Havelock, tweeted that not all was bad news.

Guardian reporter Rob Davies echoes the reassurance.

Pizza Express soaked in the outpouring of adoration, reassuring them all was well with a tongue-in-cheek Facebook video below. The pizza chain has until 2021 to refinance its debts, so until then, get as many dough balls as your heart wishes.