JASPER, Ind. - Buehler Foods here has filed a plan to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy that calls for a $17 million investment by its wholesale supplier, Associated Wholesale Grocers, Kansas City, Kan.
A hearing on the plan is set for Feb. 10. If the plan is approved, the company could emerge from bankruptcy by the end of March, according to Jerry Ancel, an attorney with Sommer Barnard, Indianapolis, who is representing Buehler Foods in the case.
According to the plan, Buehler's 22-store Save-A-Lot division would be spun off and recapitalized by the Buehler family. The 24-store Buy Low division would operate separately with a new bank agreement.
AWG would invest $15 million in cash and provide $2 million in credit for the Buy Low operations, Ancel said.
"It's good news for all the communities that [Buehler] operates in," he said.
The company filed bankruptcy in May after the acquisition of 16 former Winn-Dixie locations in Kentucky, all of which have since been divested. The company reportedly borrowed heavily to finance the Winn-Dixie acquisitions, but was unable to generate adequate returns.
"They get considerable pressure from Wal-Mart in the markets they are in, and that's what led them to look at Kentucky in the first place," said Ancel. "But it just didn't work out right."