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Minnesota Based ‘Old Country Buffet’ Chain Filing Bankruptcy, Closing 81 Locations

Thursday, January 19th, 2012 at 7:00 am

The Minnesota-based owner of the Old Country Buffet chain is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and plans to close 81 locations.

The locations to be closed were not immediately revealed, but many sites will still remain open.

A spokesperson says an official list of closure locations would likely be released by the end of the week.

Buffets, Inc., based in Eagan, Minn. owns 494 restaurants in 38 states under the Old Country Buffet, Hometown Buffet, Ryans, Fire Mountain, and Tahoe Joe’s names.

The company said the closure of underperforming restaurants would strengthen its portfolio and position it for profitable growth. CEO Mike Andrews said closure decisions are based on financial performance, occupancy costs, market conditions and the company’s long-term strategy.

Under the Chapter 11 filing, senior lenders that hold outstanding debt owed by Buffets, Inc. will convert their debit into a controlling equity stake in the company.  The company anticipates completing a restructuring and exiting bankruptcy within six months.

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