Leon has announced its CVA proposal will go ahead after it received 90% approval from its creditors.
The restaurant chain which was founded in 2004 and has gone on to operate 75 sites globally both owned and franchised with 44 based in the UK in prime locations and transport hubs, predominantly across central London.
The CVA will reportedly deliver no cuts to existing staff and will “preserve” the majority of the firm’s store footprint.
As a result of the restrictions placed on the hospitality sector during the UK lockdown, 32 of the group’s stores were forced to temporarily close.
The CVA approval comes after a year of suffering from “severely reduced” footfall numbers following the second national lockdown, and as tougher restrictions continue to be introduced throughout the UK.
John Vincent, founder and CEO of Leon said: “The CVA is intended to provide the company with a foundation to first survive and then carefully rebuild. We had a growing and profitable business before Covid. Despite taking many actions to reduce cost and optimise revenue during the crisis, the continued lockdowns and restrictions have made this CVA a necessity.”
The agreement will focus on ensuring that the business can deal with the “ongoing uncertainties” created by the pandemic as well as provide a platform to return to a more “positive trajectory” in the longer term.
Quantuma said it has appointed Andrew Andronikou, managing director, and Brian Burke as joint nominees to oversee the CVA process.
Andronikou said: “The retail and casual dining sector has suffered significant damage throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the ongoing uncertainties still need to be addressed.
“While the plans for a UK vaccination programme are promising, the fact remains that a return to normal may still be some way off, and this uncertainty continues to have significant consequences to businesses reliant on footfall and a return to normal working practices.”
He added: “Our number one priority, as we work with the board of Leon over the coming weeks and months, will be to allow the business to navigate the current challenges and help the business return to its positive trajectory whilst protecting jobs and minimising the need for store closures.”