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PENN TRAFFIC EXITS BANKRUPTCY
PARENT OF QUALITY MARKETS SHEDS $468 MILLION IN DEBT

Penn Traffic Co., which operates Quality supermarkets in Western New York and BiLo and P&C stores elsewhere in the Northeast, ended its bankruptcy Wednesday after shedding $468 million in debt.

Penn Traffic, based in Syracuse, exits bankruptcy with $65 million in debt. The company filed for bankruptcy protection in May 2003 with $233 million in secured debt and $300 million in unsecured debt.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Adlai Hardin authorized Penn Traffic to execute a plan that gave unsecured creditors at least 90 percent of the stock in the reorganized company. Penn Traffic will use $164 million in loans from General Electric Co.'s finance unit and Kimco Realty Corp. to pay creditors and the expenses of carrying out the plan.

"Penn Traffic today is a leaner, strong competitor with bright prospects," Robert Chapman, the company's chief executive, said in a statement. "We are excited to now redirect our attention from the turnaround toward growth and profitability."

The company filed for bankruptcy protection after cutting prices to compete with retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores. It was the company's second bankruptcy filing. Penn Traffic came out of its previous bankruptcy in 1999.

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