BILL’S DOLLAR STORES FILE CHAP. 11
NEW YORK — Bill’s Dollar Stores on Wednesday filed a voluntary petition for Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection in Delaware.
The 410-unit chain — operating in 13 states, mostly in the Southeast — said it has a commitment from Congress Financial Corp. for a $50 million debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing facility. The privately held chain, according to two sources, sells a high volume of women’s apparel items for $1 each. About 13 percent of the total inventory is in apparel, with the women’s, men’s and children’s categories evenly split.
Gerald L. Kanter, interim chief executive officer and a managing director of the turnaround firm of Osnos Associates Inc., said in a statement that the company is in discussions with several potential buyers. The DIP facility is to enable the company to continue operations without interruption while it is in negotiations with prospective buyers.
Bill’s Dollar Stores closed 157 underperforming locations in 2000, and is planning to close its Augusta, Ga., distribution center on April 1. A credit source said Wednesday that the company stopped paying some of its trade creditors last October.
Wednesday’s filing was the company’s second. Its first tour of Chapter 11 began in July 1993 and ended with its exit from bankruptcy in October 1995.