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Court OKs sale of remaining Charlie Brown's units

All Charlie Brown’s locations sold to CB Restaurants are expected to remain open

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court has approved the sale of 20 Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse restaurants by bankrupt CB Holding Corp. to an affiliate of Praesidian Capital Opportunity Fund II-A LP, but at a higher price than originally proposed by Praesidian.

Officials of Mountainside, N.J.-based CB Holding Corp. said the bankruptcy court for District of Delaware approved the sale to Praesidian affiliate CB Restaurants Inc. following an April 6 auction at which CB Restaurants was the highest bidder at $9.5 million.

That sale price compared to the initial $5.2 million preliminary bid submitted by CB Restaurants in an attempt to bring out other bidders.

CB Holding officials indicated that all 20 of the Charlie Brown’s locations in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania sold to CB Restaurants are expected to remain open for business and operate under the same name after the deal closes.

According to documents filed with the court by attorneys for CB Restaurants Inc., the “CBRI team” operates or franchises 85 restaurants in multiple states under such concepts or chains as Coach’s Bar & Grill, Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant, Garfield’s Restaurant & Pub, Henry Hudson’s Pub, Jimmy’s Egg, Old Chicago, Poblano Grill and Pepperoni Grill.

They said that in addition to various funds controlled by Praesidian, Steakhouse Partners LLC, an Oklahoma limited liability company also is a shareholder in CB Restaurants Inc.

“We are pleased with the bids that were received for Charlie Brown’s, which resulted in a final price well in excess of the original ‘stalking horse’ bid,” said Gary Limbo, the outside chief restructuring officer for CB Holding and a managing director at the CRG Partners Group LLC consultancy helping the New Jersey company with its restructuring.

The sale effectively brings to an end the sell off of the three restaurant chains and other assets owned by CB Holding Corp. prior to Nov. 18, when the company and all of its subsidiaries filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from creditors. That reorganization move also saw CB Holding, which is majority-owned by Trimaran Capital Partners Inc. of New York, close 29 other Charlie Brown’s locations, as well as shutter 18 of 30 Bugaboo Creek Steak House locations.

In March the bankruptcy court approved the sale for $10.1 million to RRGK LLC of the 12 remaining Bugaboo Creek restaurants in Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. RRGK is a company founded by the owners of Qdoba franchisee Capitol Q Restaurants LLC.

The court in January approved the sale of CB Holding’s seven-unit The Office Beer Bar & Grill chain for $4.7 million to multiconcept franchisor and operator Villa Enterprises Ltd. of Morristown, N.J.

According to documents filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, CB Holding at the time of its bankruptcy filing had estimated assets between $100 million and $500 million and estimated liabilities of between $50 million and $100 million.

Research by Nation’s Restaurant News suggests that CB Holding had estimated 2009 sales of about $219 million, down from the company’s reported 2008 sales of $239.1 million.

Contact Alan J. Liddle at [email protected].

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