Judge clears I.B.C. to exit bankruptcy

by Eric Schroeder
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KANSAS CITY — U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Jerry Venters today approved the reorganization plan set forth by Interstate Bakeries Corp. In doing so, he has paved the way for the wholesale baker to exit bankruptcy, potentially as early as Dec. 15.

The plan, which provides for $469 million in new loans from a group of lenders including Silver Point Capital LP as well as a $130 million investment from Ripplewood Holdings, still has one hurdle to clear — two lenders that tentatively agreed to the financing have not signed the final draft.

The plan had been mailed out to I.B.C.’s creditors to vote on in November.

"Today marks an important day in our company’s future," said Craig Jung, chief executive officer of I.B.C. "After a challenging four-year restructuring we are extremely pleased that we are in a position to be able to emerge from Chapter 11 as a standalone company. Going forward, I.B.C. will be well positioned upon emergence to compete in the market place with sufficient cash to fund operations, a renewed focus on driving innovation and reinvigorating our brands, and the flexibility to test, qualify, and implement new methods of distribution to meet the changing needs of our customers."

Mr. Jung emphasized that, "I.B.C. could not have reached this important milestone in the reorganization without the hard work and dedication of every I.B.C. employee nationwide. We owe our employees, on whom tremendous demands have been placed to make the new, reorganized I.B.C. a reality, a sincere and heartfelt thanks for a job well done. The support and vote of confidence we received from our pre-petition lenders, 100% of whom voted in favor of the plan, and Ripplewood were critical in our ability to achieve plan confirmation today and position us to emerge as a standalone company. Our customers and vendors have also stood with us through this extremely difficult time, and for their loyalty, we are extremely grateful."

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