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CB Holding Corp. files for Ch. 11

Company shutters 29 Charlie Brown’s and 18 Bugaboo locations

CB Holding Corp., parent to Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse, Bugaboo Creek Steak House and The Office Beer Bar & Grill, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, according to a company statement late Wednesday.

The news follows the closings of 29 Charlie Brown’s and 18 Bugaboo Creek Steak Houses earlier this week. The Mountainside, N.J.-based CB Holding, which is majority owned by Trimaran Capital Partners, continues to operate 20 Charlie Brown’s, 12 Bugaboo Creeks and seven The Office Beer Bar & Grill locations. It said each of those restaurants is expected to remain open for business.

CB Holding said in a statement that it closed the underperforming restaurants “to preserve liquidity in a challenging economic environment.”

“Although we, like so many other businesses, have had to face significant challenges in the current economic environment, we are open for business at 39 locations,” said Craig Godfrey, executive vice president of operations for CB Holding.

The company said it plans to use the reorganization process to sell its ongoing business operations, and is seeking approval of $2.5 million debtor-in-possession financing.

Earlier this year, chief executive Samuel Borgese said CB Holding was exploring strategic alternatives, including the possible sale of Bugaboo Creek, noting that the recession had hurt customer traffic at all of the company’s brands.

According to documents filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, the company has estimated assets between $100 million and $500 million and estimated liabilities between $50 million and $100 million.

Creditors include Sysco Corp., M. Tucker Co., Inc., and Alliance/PFG.

According to Nation’s Restaurant News, CB Holding had estimated 2009 revenue of $219 million, down from $239.1 million in 2008.

Gary Lembo, a managing director at CRG Partners Group LLC, was named chief restructuring officer of CB Holding, subject to court approval.

Representatives of CB Holding had not returned calls at press time.

Contact Paul Frumkin at [email protected].

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