Daily News: July 20, 2012

Buffets Completes Restructuring and Emerges From Chapter 11

Buffets, Inc. announced that it has completed its restructuring and that it has emerged from Chapter 11 reorganization, six months after its pre-negotiated filing on January 18, 2012. Company officials announced the emergence at a strategic planning session with all of its field leadership team members in Atlanta, GA, heralding the development as an opportunity to reinvest in its restaurants facilities, food and fundamentals.

As part of the reorganization, the company eliminated all of its outstanding pre-petition term debt, totaling approximately $255 million, as well as annual interest expense of more than $35 million, and closed approximately 140 underperforming restaurants. With its emergence from Chapter 11, the reorganized company’s outstanding stock is wholly owned by its pre-petition lenders.

“We have achieved all of the restructuring objectives we announced in January, and completed the process both quickly and successfully,” said Mike Andrews, CEO of Buffets. “We have emerged with significantly less debt, a much improved balance sheet and a sustainable capital structure, all of which will allow us to leverage our strong brands as we make investments in the future success of our restaurants.”

In conjunction with its emergence from Chapter 11, Buffets has secured $50 million in exit financing. This financing enables the company to satisfy its Chapter 11 Plan obligations and provide working capital for ongoing operations. Some of those funds would be used to address deferred maintenance as well as a top to bottom training program for all employees.

Buffets, Inc., a steak-buffet restaurant company, currently operates 357 restaurants in 35 states, comprised of 347 steak-buffet restaurants and 10 Tahoe Joe’s Famous Steakhouse(R) restaurants.

Previously on abfjournal.com:

Court Confirms Buffets Plan, Exit Financing, Friday, June 29, 2012