White Hen Parent Files for Chapter 11 Protection

Discussion
Oct 16, 2002
George Anderson

By George Anderson


Clark Retail Enterprises has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.


The convenience store and gas station operator took this step due to what the company called “”unprecedented industry conditions”, according to the Crain’s Chicago Business web site. Lower margin gasoline sales driven by increased price competition and lower consumer spending due to weak economic conditions were said to be the factors leading to Clark’s current operating dilemma.


The company says that the Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings do not include Clark’s convenience store subsidiary, White Hen Pantry.


Moderator’s Comment: Has it become too easy for companies
to be granted Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection?


We’re certainly not suggesting that going Chapter 11 is
a positive experience and we’re not accusing Clark’s management of taking the
easy way out. We have to wonder, however, if the current court criteria for
granting protection doesn’t sometimes give management a way out rather than dealing
with critical issues sooner. It’s similar (but in reverse) to companies expanding
through acquisition in lieu of being innovative and resourceful enough to drive
organic growth. [George
Anderson – Moderator
]

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