HOMELAND, parent company file for Chapter 11 reorganization

Thursday, August 2nd 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Homeland Stores Inc. and its parent company, Homeland Holding Corp., filed for Chapter 11 reorganization Wednesday in federal bankruptcy court.

The Oklahoma City-based grocery store chain could not reach an accord with its current lending institutions on a portion of its financing, officials said in a news release.

The filing will allow Homeland to refinance its bank and other debt, which will provide sufficient funding for its ongoing operation, the company said.

Interim financing through its current lenders and Associated Wholesale Grocers, Homeland's primary wholesaler, has been arranged, officials said. The company also has received commitments for a $48 million debtor-in-possession financing through Associated Wholesale Grocers and two other companies.

``The interim financing will ensure that we are in a position to fulfill our obligations during the proceedings and operate our stores without interruption,'' David B. Clark, Homeland's president, said.

``The filing today will not affect day-to-day operations at the stores in Oklahoma, the Texas panhandle and southern Kansas. The company will conduct business as usual throughout the process and remains optimistic it will emerge with a renewed ability to compete in the marketplace.''

Clark said the company has hired a business investment and financial consulting firm and a merchant bank specializing in Chapter 11 reorganization strategic matters.

``In order to position the compnay to compete over the long term in the manner we would all like, requires refinancing of our debt and working capital,'' Clark said. ``This move is an important step toward positioning Homeland to better achieve its goals without affecting service to our customers,''

Homeland is one of Oklahoma's major employers, employing 4,000 in 78 stores in Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas.