Firm Advises on Successful Restructuring of Buffets

July 20, 2012

Willkie represents an ad hoc committee of senior lenders in the successful restructuring of Buffets, Inc., the nation’s largest steak-buffet restaurant company.

Willkie represented an ad hoc committee of senior lenders, led by Twin Haven Capital Partners, in the restructuring of Buffets, Inc., the nation’s largest steak-buffet restaurant company. The company initially filed for chapter 11 protection on January 18, 2012 in order to implement a pre-negotiated restructuring plan with its senior lenders. In approximately six months, Buffets closed approximately 140 underperforming restaurants and confirmed its chapter 11 plan. Pursuant to the Plan, the senior lenders agreed to eliminate their prepetition debt in exchange for receiving all of the reorganized company's common stock. Willkie represented the senior lenders in all aspects of the restructuring, including in connection with the negotiation of the company’s $50 million DIP facility, $50 million exit facility, negotiation of the reorganization plan and related plan support agreement. Buffets, Inc. currently operates 357 restaurants in 35 states. The restaurants are principally operated under the Old Country Buffet, HomeTown Buffet, Ryan’s and Fire Mountain brands. The company employs approximately 18,000 people and serves about 100 million customers annually.

The matter was handled by partners Matthew Feldman, Paul Shalhoub, Michael Zinder and Mark Cognetti and associates Christopher Giorgione, Marina Zelinsky, Christopher Gabriel, Mia Ellis and Veronica Ng.