Daily News: January 10, 2012

Friendly’s Emerges From Chapter 11 in Three Months


Friendly Ice Cream Corporation and its subsidiaries (Friendly’s), the operator of Friendly’s restaurants and a nationwide distributor of ice cream products, announced that the company has successfully emerged from its voluntary Chapter 11 by consummating the sale of its business to Friendly’s Ice Cream, LLC and its subsidiaries.

“The completion of our financial and operational restructuring in just over three months is a significant accomplishment. It is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our employees as well as the ongoing support of our restaurant guests, franchisees, retail customers and vendors,” said Harsha V. Agadi, chairman and CEO of Friendly’s. “As a now better capitalized company, more able to compete in the casual family restaurant sector, we look forward to building on Friendly’s rich 76-year-old history.”

Since entering Chapter 11 in October 2011, Friendly’s has initiated a comprehensive turnaround strategy designed to improve operations across all business segments. Turnaround efforts include improvements in customer satisfaction and speed of service, menu enhancements, further partnership with new and existing franchisees, expansion of the retail business, and other investments in overall guest experience.

During the restructuring, the company sought to work out more favorable lease arrangements at a number of locations where we believed rents did not reflect current market conditions and were significantly impacting the viability of the restaurants. While Friendly’s was able to successfully restructure lease agreements for a number of these locations, unfortunately, it was not able to reach an acceptable agreement with landlords at 37 restaurants. Therefore, the company has made the difficult decision to close these Friendly’s effective at the close of business on January 8.

“We regret that this decision has become necessary, and we appreciate the hard work and dedication of the Friendly’s employees at each of the affected locations. We intend to accommodate as many as possible from closed locations to nearby operating restaurants, where available,” added Agadi.

Friendly’s filed to reorganize under Chapter 11 on October 5, 2011, in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

Previously on abfjournal.com:

WSJ: Sun Capital Retains Ownership of Friendly’s, Friday, December 30, 2011