Bertucci's Closes Six Restaurants in Massachusetts, Declares Bankruptcy

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Bertucci's Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday and submitted a stalking horse deal to sell to an affiliate of Chicago-based investment firm Right Lane Capital LLC, the company said in court filings.

The Framingham location on Route 9 is still open, along with 58 others. "The bidder wants to purchase "substantially all" of Bertucci's remaining assets, subject to better offers", Bertucci's CEO Brian Wright said in a news release.

"Consumers have more options than ever for spending discretionary income, and their preferences continue to shift towards cheaper, faster alternatives", the company said in its court papers. The company said it had about $119 million in debt. The company employs 4,200 workers, about three-quarters of whom are part-time.

Bertucci's woes are part of a broader downturn for midpriced, sit-down restaurant chains.

And Bloomin' Brands, which owns Bonefish Grill, Carrabba's and Outback restaurants, closed 43 of its 1,500 restaurants a year ago, citing declining sales numbers.

The chain has been trying to lure diners with its new Express Lunch, which promises to bring orders within 15 minutes.

Landis Rath & Cobb LLP is serving as Bertucci's bankruptcy counsel, and Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP is the company's special corporate counsel.

Bertucci's notes, "The transaction is meant to maximize value for all stakeholders through a fair, open Bankruptcy Court-approved sale process in which Bertucci's will consider all bids for a sale or restructuring of the company".

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