Southeastern Grocers makes bankruptcy declaration official

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Southeastern Grocers makes bankruptcy declaration official

By Deena M. Amato-McCoy - 03/28/2018
It’s official — the parent company of grocery banners including Winn-Dixie and Bi-Lo has filed for bankruptcy protection.

Southeastern Grocers filed for Chapter 11 protection on Tuesday, March 27. Following the plan it announced last week, the company is now implementing a “pre-packaged plan of reorganization,” according to Southern Grocers.

The company entered into a restructuring support agreement with a group of creditors and its private equity sponsor regarding a comprehensive financial restructuring that will position the company for long-term financial health. The plan will decrease overall debt levels by over $500 million, enabling the company to maintain a strong liquidity position.

The company will also close 94 stores. However, the supermarket company will continue operating more than 580 stores under the Bi-Lo, Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie banners throughout the process.

The slashed debt will reduce interest expenses, allowing the supermarket operator to invest more cash flow back into the business. These will be in the form of increased capital expenditures for store remodels and new stores. The company will also be able to focus its resources on store growth and financial vitality, according to Southern Grocers.

“Today, with the support of our key stakeholders, we are taking the next step in the implementation of our financial restructuring plan,” Anthony Hucker, president and CEO of Southeastern Grocers, said.

“This pre-packaged, court-supervised financial restructuring process provides for a clear and expedited path to put SEG in the best position to serve our communities and succeed in the competitive retail market in which we do business,” Hucker added. “We are extremely pleased that this process continues to proceed quickly and as planned.”