Prezzo’s restructuring plan is being objected to be HMRC on the grounds it is being used to avoid paying the taxes it owes, Bloomberg reports.

Prezzo Investco Limited, which operates more than 100 Italian casual dining restaurants, is attempting a restructuring plan to avoid administration that would see it write off debts to landlords and tax authorities, according to a court hearing on Friday.

The company is owned by Cain International, which was founded by Todd Boehly and is run by Jonathan Goldstein, with the pair also two of the new owners behind Chelsea Football Club.

A judge is due to decide next week whether the plan should go ahead and ignore claims from the likes of HMRC, which is owed more than £11m, using a process called a cram down.

“The company is essentially trading to the detriment of HMRC,” Charlotte Cooke, a lawyer acting for the tax authority, said in a filing. “The court should not sanction this non-payment of tax.”

The tax authority has objected to a number of similar restructuring plans in recent years, with varying levels of success, according to Bloomberg.

Prezzo used a company voluntary arrangement to shutter stores in 2018, and was sold in a pre-pack administration in 2021.

The business is owned by Jampurchaseco Limited, which is ultimately owned by Boehly and Goldstein.

The company’s secured lenders, who get paid first in a restructuring, are owed around £24m, but Prezzo’s advisors at FRP Advisory believe the business is unlikely to be worth more than £14m.

With the vast majority of the secured debt held by Prezzo’s parent company, this leaves very little left over for HMRC.

Around £32m owed to landlords would also be at risk.