On January 18, 2012, Buffets Restaurants Holdings, Inc. and Several Affiliates (collectively, the "Debtors") Filed for Chapter 11 Protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware

Buffets Restaurants Holdings, Inc. Files for Chapter 11 Protection for the Second Time in Four Years.

The petition lists both assets and liabilities between $100 million and $500 million. The case has been assigned to Judge Mary F. Walrath and is being administered under case number 12-10237. A motion for joint administration of the Debtors’ cases is pending.

The Debtors previously filed for chapter 11 relief in January of 2008 and, after approximately 16 months in chapter 11, the Debtors reorganized and confirmed their plan on April 17, 2009. The plan went effective on April 28, 2009 and the cases have been closed.

According to the first-day Declaration of A. Keith Wall – the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Buffets, Inc. and an officer, manager, and/or director of each of the Debtors – the Debtors comprise the nation’s largest company-owned steak-buffet restaurant chain, and one of the largest national chains in the family segment of the restaurant industry. The Debtors’ steak-buffet restaurants principally operate under the names Old Country Buffet®, Country Buffet®, HomeTown® Buffet, Ryan’s® and Fire Mountain®. The affidavit goes on to provide that the Debtors own and operate an 11-unit full service, casual dining chain under the name Tahoe Joe’s Famous Steakhouse®, as well.

Although the Debtors reduced a significant amount of their long term debt under their prior chapter 11 plan, Mr. Wall states, the Debtors continue to be affected by the “sluggish U.S. economy.” Mr. Wall specifically points to decreased discretionary spending among the Debtors’ core customers, compounded by higher gasoline and energy costs, increased debt service loads, lower consumer confidence, above-market rate leases, and the general economic downturn as the primary areas which affected the Debtors’ business.

The Debtors, in conjunction with a steering committee of the Debtors’ secured lenders, have engaged in months of negotiations and agreed upon a pre-negotiated plan of reorganization, according to the affidavit.

The case has been assigned to Judge Mary F. Walrath and is being administered under case number 12-10237.

 

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