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NPC International, Pizza Hut's Largest Franchisee, Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

NPC International Inc., the largest franchisee of Pizza Hut restaurants in the U.S., has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Wednesday.

The company, which operates more than 1,200 Pizza Huts and 385 Wendy's restaurants, filed for Chapter 11 protection in the Southern District of Texas court on Wednesday.

Under Chapter 11 protection, NPC International can continue to operate while it attempts to pay its bills and turn the business around.

NPC missed interest payments on it's nearly $800 million in loans on January 31. The company, which has almost $1 billion in debt, started considering about a possible bankruptcy filing with its lenders at that time.

According to NPC's bankruptcy filing, the company's largest creditors are Pizza Hut and Wendy's.

The coronavirus pandemic has forced several restaurant chains to file for bankruptcy, including CEC Entertainment, the parent company to Chuck E. Cheese, and the U.S. division of bakery chain Le Pain Quotidien.

Reports quoted a Pizza Hut spokesperson as saying that while NPC's Chapter 11 filing was expected, Pizza Hut expects an outcome resulting in an organization with a lower, more sustainable level of debt, ownership focus on operational excellence and a greater level of restaurant investment.

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