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Claim Jumper files for Ch. 11

Claim Jumper files for Ch. 11

Investor to acquire company's assets as part of reorganization

Claim Jumper Restaurants LLC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Friday and said it plans to sell most of its assets to an affiliate of investment firm Canyon Capital Advisors LLC.

The Irvine, Calif.-based restaurant company expects to emerge from bankruptcy debt-free in about two months under new ownership.

Private Capital Partners, an affiliate of Los Angeles-based Canyon Capital and a current investor in Claim Jumper, said it would acquire “substantially all” of the company's assets and operations, including its 45 restaurants on the West Coast and in the Midwest. A purchase price was not disclosed.

Claim Jumper said in a letter to employees posted on the website that its restaurants would remain open during the reorganization.

“This transaction represents a positive outcome for our company, our loyal guests, our employees and our valued business partners,” the company said. “We are pleased to continue our partnership with Private Capital Partners who bring new equity and a proven track record of success in the restaurant industry.”

As part of it bankruptcy filing, Claim Jumper said it would consider competing offers from other bidders and has retained Piper Jaffray & Co. as a financial adviser.

In documents filed Friday with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, Claim Jumper listed assets between $50 million and $100 million and liabilities between $100 million and $500 million. The company said its majority owner is Gold Rush Purchase Corp., which holds a 75.3-percent stake.

Private Capital Partners’ acquisition of Claim Jumper would mark the latest in a long list of ownership changes at restaurant companies this year, including Max & Erma’s and Fuddruckers, which also were purchased out of bankruptcy.

Contact Molly Gise at [email protected].

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