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Mrs. Fields exits bankruptcy

SALT LAKE CITY Two months after seeking Chapter 11 protection from creditors, Mrs. Fields Famous Brands LLC said it has emerged from bankruptcy after gaining court approval for its reorganization plan.

The company, which is the franchisor of Mrs. Fields Original Cookies and TCBY brands, has an improved balance sheet and good working capital, interim chief executive Michael Ward said in a statement on Friday.

Mrs. Fields had filed a prepackaged reorganization plan with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware on Aug. 24. Earlier this month, the court approved the plan, which called for the company to exchange $195 million in bondholder debt for $87.5 million cash, $52.5 million in new notes and 87.5 percent of the company’s new stock.

Ward said the company, which franchises or licenses more than 1,200 locations, is now in a better position to grow through more franchising. The company expects to open 40 franchised stores in 2009.

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