What’s Next for Winn-Dixie?
It now appears likely that Winn-Dixie will get the okay to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after a hearing last week before U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Jerry Funk.
Those testifying on Winn-Dixie’s behalf portrayed the company as one that had made strides in lowering debt, improving sales and increasing liquidity. They also admitted that the grocery chain still faced many challenges in the marketplace.
Paul Huffard, senior managing director for The Blackstone Group, Winn-Dixie’s investment banker, told Judge Funk, “This is a large company and, like turning an aircraft carrier, it takes time to turn around.”
The grocery chain has lost $1.3 billion over the past three years, according to The Associated Press. It expects to return to profitability in its 2008 fiscal year.
While many are optimistic about Winn-Dixie’s chances post-Chapter 11, others are not.
Barton Weitz, executive director of the Miller Center for Retailing at the University of Florida, told the AP, “I don’t think much has changed. The difficulties they face remain the same. I don’t see that they have a well-articulated strategy that differentiates them from Wal-Mart and Publix.”
Discussion Question: What do you see as likely scenarios for Winn-Dixie following its emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection?
- Winn-Dixie losing money, but sales are improving in bankruptcy
– The Associated Press/Sarasota Herald-Tribune