The U.S. Bankruptcy Court has approved Southeastern Grocers' plan of reorganization on Monday, clearing the way for the Jacksonville, Fla.-based chain to emerge from Chapter 11 potentially in a matter of weeks, according to the company.
"We are delighted with the court's swift approval, which marks a major milestone in the transformation and correction of our business,” Southeastern CEO Anthony Hucker said in a statement. “This confirmation paves the way for us to emerge as a strong, viable business that is well-positioned to succeed in the competitive retail market."
Hucker expressed thanks to the retailer's "dedicated associates who have remained focused on ensuring our customers and communities can count on us. We're rooted in our purpose and now firmly on our path to success," he said. "We're eager to show our customers how far we've come—and how far we're going—as we emerge from this process.”
As previously announced, the plan will decrease debt levels by approximately $600 million, including $522 million of debt exchanged for equity in the reorganized company.
The plan survived challenges from the U.S. trustee overseeing the case as well as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which separately argued that the plan improperly released certain nondebtors from liability claims. The trustee further claimed the plan allowed for professional fees to be paid to certain parties without having showed their work.
Southeastern will continue to operate more than 575 stores under the Bi-Lo, Fresco y Mas, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie banners in seven states.