• Marie Callender and Perkins Restaurant Chain File Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

    The owner of Perkins and Marie Callender restaurant chains filed for bankruptcy on June 13, 2011. Court documents show that the company plans to shutter 65 of its 600 locations and eliminate 2,500 jobs.

    The bankruptcy is wiping out the investment of private equity firm Castle Harlan. They acquired the Perkins chain in 2005 for $245 million. Castle Harlan added the Marie Callender Restaurant and Bakery chain in 2006 for $140 million.

    The restaurant chain is the latest food business to fall in a sluggish economy and soaring food prices. Perkins and MarieCallender Inc.’s filing follows on the heels of a bankruptcy filed by chicken producer Allen Family Foods.

    Company President Joseph Trungale said in court documents that the company was hit hard by a weak economy. A sharp decline in restaurant sales in the Midwest, Florida and California pushed the company into filing.

    The company said that high unemployment and foreclosure rates in Florida and California led to a decrease in discretionary income for many historically loyal customer, resulting in a drop in customer traffic.

    Total assets for the company listed in the petition are $290 million with liabilities of $440.8 million. Eleven affiliates of Perkins and Marie Callender’s, Inc. are included in the bankruptcy filing.

    If you are seeking bankruptcy information , contact a Chicago bankruptcy attorney for insight into how the process works.

  • Battle for Control of Rookwood Pottery Takes a Surprising Turn

    Rookwood Corporation filed an involuntary chapter 11 bankruptcy in May, 2011, forced into filing by their creditors. Shareholders voted on June 21, 2011 for a change in leadership and restore former company president and CEO Chris Rose as a director.

    Current CEO Chip DeMois laughed when he was asked to comment on a news release which states that he has been removed from his position by shareholders.

    DeMois said he is still at Rookwood and the current team is “firing on all cylinders and continuing to move forward.”

    Rookwood Pottery is experiencing growth, having increased the amount of employees by 50 percent since January. It has recently received its first international order and increased the production capacity by 200 percent. Rookwood saw its first profit in May, 2011, the first in many years.

    Majority owners Martin and Marilyn Wade tried to avoid filing for bankruptcy by planning an auction of the company’s assets. They hoped to reorganize under a new corporate structure. However, creditors Alfred Berger Jr., Sharri Ramelsberg and Rose forced the involuntary bankruptcy. They say they are owed almost $260,000 in total.

    The Wades fired Rose in December, 2010 and hired DeMois in January, 2011.

    If you are considering filing for bankrupty and would like to obtain bankruptcy information, about the process, contact a Chicago bankruptcy attorney.