Pizza Express is reportedly planning to shut around 75 of its restaurants, in a move that would threaten hundreds of jobs.

The company is working on an insolvency process called a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), according to Sky News.

This would be used by the company to cut its rent negotiations across the UK, as it tries to deal with the impact of the coronavirus crisis.

Talks with landlords are expected to get under way as soon as next week, where the final number of proposed closures will be decided.

Pizza Express employs approximately 8,000 people across the UK.

Daily Star Online has approached the company for comment.

The announcement comes just weeks after The Casual Dining Group, which owns Bella Italia, Las Iguanas and Café Rouge, entered administration, with 1,900 jobs set to be axed.

Around 91 of 250 outlets will close permanently under the proposed cuts.

In a similar approach to Pizza Express, the chain said it will work with landlords to renegotiate rent costs across its estate.

Most of the closures affect the Cafe Rouge and Bella Italia brand.

However, 11 Las Iguanas outlets, three Belgo restaurants and several sites at airports will also shut.

Chief executive James Spragg said: "After reviewing all our options with advisors, it became clear that we needed to take this action in order to protect the business and secure the best possible future for Casual Dining Group as we look to conclude a potential sale."

He added: "We are acutely aware of our duty to all employees and recognise that this is an incredibly difficult time for them.

"Working alongside the administrators we will do everything we can to support them through this process with a view to preserving as much employment as we are able to."

Joint administrator Clare Kennedy, of Alix Partners, said: "Our immediate priorities are to assist those whose employment has been affected by today's announcement and to secure a sale for the group in order to protect jobs and provide the group's much-loved brands with a sustainable platform for the future."