Pizza Hut and Wendy’s Operator NPC Files for Bankruptcy
· NPC can keep operating while it works on turnaround plan
· Restaurant operator will look to sell Wendy’s franchises
By Katherine Doherty, Bloomberg
July 1, 2020
NPC International Inc., the largest franchisee of Pizza Hut restaurants in the U.S., filed for bankruptcy after coronavirus-related shutdowns added to competitive pressures in the restaurant industry.
The closely held company sought Chapter 11 protection in the Southern District of Texas court on Wednesday. NPC, founded in 1962, operates 1,227 Pizza Hut and 393 Wendy’s stores across the U.S., according to court papers.
NPC and Pizza Hut have struggled with rising labor and food costs while trying to expand delivery and move away from traditional dine-in restaurants. The Overland Park, Kansas-based company also faces cut-throat competition from rivals such as Domino’s Pizza Inc. and Papa John’s International Inc.
The company has $903 million in debt and has pre-negotiated a restructuring agreement with about 90% of its first lien lenders and 17% of second lien lenders. The plan is aimed at reducing the company’s debt, with first lien lenders taking equity and potentially participating in a new cash injection. It also includes the sale of at least part of the company’s restaurants, according to the filing.
The Chapter 11 filing doesn’t mean Pizza Hut and Wendy’s are going out of business. NPC can keep operating while it works out a plan to pay its bills and turn the business around, and the bankruptcy doesn’t affect the thousands of other Pizza Hut and Wendy’s outlets owned by other franchisees.
Under the deal with its lenders, NPC will...
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