Southeastern Grocers Files Bankruptcy, Plans to Close Over 94 Stores
JACKSONVILLE, FL – Just weeks ago, Winn-Dixie filed a Chapter 11, and now its parent company, Southeastern Grocers, announced that it too has declared bankruptcy. Through a Restructuring Support Agreement, the company plans to decrease its debt by over $500 million and is closing 94 stores as a result, according to a report by the Business Journal.
“The agreement we announced today is an important step in Southeastern Grocers’ transformation to put our company in the best position to succeed in the extremely competitive retail market in which we do business,” said Anthony Hucker, President and CEO. “With a foundation built on iconic, heritage banners, and with the strong support of our leadership team, we will work through this process as quickly and efficiently as possible. We are excited to emerge with the optimal store footprint and greater financial flexibility to invest in Southeastern Grocers’ growth.”
According to a recent press release, the terms of the proposed restructuring include:
- The company’s outstanding secured debt obligations, including its Secured Notes and the 2014 Revolving Credit Facility, will be paid in full
- The company has secured 100 percent committed exit financing in the form of a senior secured six-year term loan facility in the original principal amount of $525 million and an asset-based lending (ABL) revolving credit facility
- The Unsecured Notes will be cancelled in exchange for 100 percent of equity in the reorganized company
- Holders of general unsecured claims, including supplier partners, contract counterparties, and all other trade creditors will receive payment in full on account of existing obligations in the ordinary course of business
- The holder of the company's existing equity will receive a five-year warrant (subject to dilution) and certain global settlement consideration.
The restructuring also includes 94 store closures across South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Mississippi, and Louisiana, with Florida enduring the hardest hit with over 35 closures. A full list of stores closing up shop is available here.
"We expect our financial health and free cash flow to improve in the newly reorganized company, and although the restructuring contemplates certain store closings, SEG is committed to ensuring that all associates continue to be treated with the utmost dignity, respect and compassion. We will continue every day to provide our associates with a great place to work and our customers with a store experience they can count on. On behalf of the Southeastern Grocers leadership team, I want to thank our many talented associates for their dedication and loyalty in serving our customers and community day in and day out,” Hucker finished.
Along with Winn-Dixie, Southeastern Grocers also owns the Bi-Lo, Fresco y Mas, and Harveys Supermarket chains, with Winn-Dixie racking up the most store closures, according to Newsweek.
As a part of the restructuring agreement, Southeastern Grocers will continue operating its remaining 582 stores during this process.