Bertucci's files for bankruptcy, asset purchase pact in place

Cornelia Mascio
Aprile 17, 2018

A Massachusetts-based restaurant chain has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as it works to restructure the company. "With the rise in popularity of quick-casual restaurants and oversaturation of the restaurant industry as a whole, Bertucci's - and the casual family dining sector in general - has been affected by a prolonged negative operating trend in an ever increasing competitive price environment", the company said in a filing. An affiliate of Right Lane Capital has agreed to buy the chain should no higher offers come in, Eric Mara with Right said in an email on Monday.

But the company told the bankruptcy court it plans to break 29 leases through the operation. The company said it had about $119 million in debt. Units of CIT Group Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co. were listed as first lien lenders. "Since 2011, Bertucci's has experienced a year-over-year decline in sales and revenue".

The chain's filing says it already has a buyer, identified as Right Lane Dough Acquisitions LLC, which DE records show was formed on April 3.

However, they will all be under new ownership soon. Sales at the top 500 US sit-down restaurant chains rose just 1 percent previous year, compared with 3.5 percent growth for the industry, according to data from Technomic. The company said Wright will continue to serve as CEO, and Brian Connell will continue to serve as chief financial officer.

Bertucci's has been trying to lure diners with its new Express Lunch, which promises to bring orders within 15 minutes. He'll continue as CEO, according to a company statement.

Landis Rath & Cobb LLP is serving as Bertucci's bankruptcy counsel, and Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP is the Company's special corporate counsel.

The original brick oven restaurant since 1981, Bertucci's is an Italian scratch kitchen and pizzeria known for artisanal authentic brick oven pizzas and handcrafted pastas, exhibition kitchens, and homemade Italian signatures, including the dough for our pizzas, calzones and famous fresh rolls.

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