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Burger King franchisee gets bids on restaurants in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.

TOMS King bankruptcy yields bids for 82 of its 90 Burger King units

Four bidders’ potential deals await Ohio bankruptcy court approval

TOMS King Holdings LLC, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection at the start of the year, has received bids for 82 of its 90 Burger King locations, court documents indicate.

TOMS King, which was one of the largest franchisees in the Burger King U.S. system, filed its Chapter 11 petition Jan. 2. The potential sale, conducted in a March auction, requires bankruptcy court approval after a “341 Meeting” of creditors.

DC Burger led in bids for 37 restaurants in Virginia. Karali Group won the auction for 27 restaurants in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Corporate Burger King was the winning bidder on 17 locations in Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Restaurant Concepts bid on one location in Pennsylvania.

The Chapter 11 filing is in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Ohio.

The TOMS King bankruptcy petition was followed in March by one from Meridian Restaurants Unlimited LC, based in South Ogden, Utah, which franchises about 120 Burger King restaurants in nine states.

Meridian, which also franchises Black Bear Diner full-service units not involved in the case, filed its petition on March 2 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court Utah District in Salt Lake City. Meridian has restaurants in Arizona, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.

At the time, a Burger King spokesperson said: "Over the next year or so, we anticipate a few franchisees will likely leave the system or look to reposition their portfolios for future success. We will proactively manage those transitions — and for those leaving the system, will work to ensure the restaurants are ultimately owned by high-performing franchisees and other proven operators from the restaurant industry."

In a February earnings call, Burger King parent Restaurant Brands International executives said they would be accelerating part of the planned “Reclaim the Flame” $400 million investment in the U.S. business.

As of Dec. 31, RBI had 19,789 Burger King restaurants systemwide. The Toronto-based company also owns the Tim Hortons, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen and Firehouse Subs brands.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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