Uno Seeks Restructuring for Growth

Published on January 20, 2010 | Comments: 0
In order to support a restructuring initiative it says will support future growth activities, casual dining restaurant retailer Uno Restaurant Holdings Corporation is filing a voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition. In addition, subject to certain conditions, Uno has negotiated the terms to seek court approval for a debtor-in-possession financing facility of $52 million from its existing senior lender, Wells Fargo Capital Finance, Inc., and its primary noteholders. With Chapter 11 protection, Uno intends to eliminate what it calls “substantial” debt through the conversion of $142 million of senior notes into a controlling equity stake. The recapitalization will give Uno resources it says it needs to invest in growth opportunities. Uno’s Chapter 11 filing involves a pre-arranged reorganization transaction which includes a negotiated term sheet outlining the material terms of the restructuring plan and related plan support agreements from its noteholders. In addition to eliminating debt, Uno expects the restructuring to significantly increase cash flow, allowing long-term investments in its core businesses. Uno intends to exit bankruptcy in an “expeditious” manner and says business will continue as usual in its restaurants and consumer products business.

Uno Express Undergoes Rapid Growth

Uno has been engaged in an aggressive growth program with its licensed Uno Express format, opening more than 160 new licensed Uno Express quick-service stores in non-traditional locations such as sports arenas, airports, tourism centers, and universities in the past 17 months. Uno has said it sees Uno Express as a way to further expand its brand. Uno is currently averaging one new Uno Express store launch per week and is working with a variety of contract food service providers to locate new distribution channels for the brand. Uno operates more than 200 company-owned and franchised full-service Uno Chicago Grill units located in 28 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Honduras, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Uno Restaurant Holdings Corporation includes 179 company-owned and franchised full-service Uno Chicago Grill units. The company also operates a fast casual concept called Uno Due Go, Uno Express, and a consumer foods division which supplies airlines, movie theaters, hotels, airports, travel plazas, schools and supermarkets with both frozen and refrigerated private-label foods and branded Uno products.

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