NEW YORK -- U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Robert D. Drain last week ruled to transfer Winn-Dixie Stores' Chapter 11 bankruptcy case from here to a court near the retailer's headquarters in Jacksonville, Fla.
The ruling represented a victory for a number of Winn-Dixie creditors -- including product vendors and local utilities -- who argued the case should be heard where Winn-Dixie conducts its business, and came against the wishes of some institutional creditors, including the lender-dominated creditors committee, which preferred the case stay in New York.
Winn-Dixie said the venue change removes an "unnecessary distraction" from proceedings and added it didn't expect the change would delay or materially affect the case.
In other matters, Drain did not rule on Winn-Dixie's request to extend the period to assume or reject leases, but granted an extension of the deadline until the motion is ruled on by a Florida judge. Published reports said last week that Winn-Dixie has decided on a "new footprint," but the plan cannot be announced or implemented until it receives approval from the bankruptcy court.
Winn-Dixie also released monthly information for the 16-day period following its Chapter 11 petition ending March 9. The retailer showed net income of $125.8 million, although those earnings were gained mainly through reorganization items including lease rejections ($83.2 million) and through sales of discontinued operations ($52.7 million). Excluding those items, the retailer showed a loss of $7.6 million. The company recorded sales of $426.5 million during the period.