Tuesday, September 14, 2010

claim jumper files chapter 11?

Claim Jumper Restaurants Reaches Asset Purchase Agreement with Private Capital Partners

* Proposed Purchase to be Completed through Pre-Arranged Chapter 11 Proceeding; Transaction to Eliminate Debt

* Operations to Continue without Interruption during Sale Process

IRVINE, Calif., -- September 10, 2010 – Claim Jumper Restaurants, LLC (the “Company”), today announced that it has entered into an Asset Purchase Agreement (APA) with Private Capital Partners, an affiliate of Canyon Capital Advisors LLC (“Canyon Capital”), to sell substantially all of its assets and operations. The Company operates 45 Claim Jumper Restaurants in eight states. Canyon Capital is a leading alternative asset manager headquartered in Los Angeles, California with approximately $18 billion in assets under management. Private Capital Partners is an existing investor in the Company.

In accordance with the terms of this agreement and to facilitate the sale transaction, the Company and its subsidiary filed voluntary petitions for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware in Wilmington. Claim Jumper Restaurants is expected to emerge from Chapter 11 in approximately 60 to 75 days with new ownership and a significantly strengthened balance sheet. As a result of this transaction, the business will be adequately capitalized and debt-free.

“This transaction represents a great outcome for our company, our loyal guests, our employees and our valued business partners,” said Chief Executive Officer Mark Augarten. “We are excited about the prospect of quickly implementing the sale through the Chapter 11 process which will allow us to emerge within two months as a company with zero debt, thereby providing the recapitalized business with stability and greater financial flexibility to promote future growth and success.”

“Claim Jumper is one of America’s great restaurant chains with a long heritage in its communities, extremely loyal guests, and an exceptional employee base that is committed to providing service that is second to none,” said Private Capital Partners Principal Tom Barber. “We are excited about partnering with Claim Jumper management to build upon the success that the Company has enjoyed for more than 30 years.”

The Transaction will be Seamless for Guests and Employees

The Company said that it has a commitment by its existing lenders to provide debtor in possession financing and has more than adequate liquidity to meet all of its operating needs throughout the sale process.

The Company also emphasized that throughout the sale process and beyond, its restaurants will remain focused on providing guests with a warm and welcoming experience in which they can enjoy generous portions of the fresh, high-quality food they expect from Claim Jumper.

“Our operations will continue just as they always have during the sale process. Our restaurants will continue to serve our loyal guests generous portions of fresh American cuisine with a modern twist. We will continue to pay our valued employees as well as our vendors for post-petition purchases of goods and services in the normal course of business,” Mr. Augarten said. “It will be business as usual while we complete the sale transaction.”

The Sale Process

In conjunction with the Chapter 11 filing and as required under Section 363 of the Code, the Company also filed a motion for the establishment of bidding procedures to allow other qualified bidders to submit higher and better offers for its assets.

Piper Jaffray & Co. serves as exclusive financial advisor to Claim Jumper in its sale process and Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCoy serves as lead bankruptcy counsel.

For further information regarding the sale and Chapter 11 proceedings please visit www.ClaimJumperRestructures.com.

About Claim Jumper

Inspired by California’s Gold Rush history, Claim Jumper Restaurants opened its first location in Los Alamitos, Calif. in 1977. Today, the casual dining concept is an established family favorite, operating 45 restaurants throughout the West Coast and parts of the Midwest. With a modern twist on traditional American cuisine and a full-service saloon, the chain’s extensive menu offers a wide variety of food and beverage choices using only the finest, freshest ingredients available. Claim Jumper Restaurants accept reservations and are open daily for lunch and dinner. For more information please visit www.claimjumper.com.

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