TooJay's emerges from Chapter 11 bankruptcy under new owner Monroe Capital


TooJay's emerges from Chapter 11 bankruptcy under new owner Monroe Capital
Published Tuesday, September 15, 2020
by Matthew Arrojas

TooJay's Deli emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings with a new owner.

Chicago-based Monroe Capital – the West Palm Beach-based deli and bakery chain's largest creditor – acquired the company at an August auction. According to court documents filed April 29 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida, TooJay's owed $25.5 million to the Chicago-based asset management firm for loans it took out in October 2018.

The company went up for auction Aug. 25, according to court documents. A bankruptcy judge later approved the sale to TJ Management Holdco LLC, an affiliate of Monroe Capital.

According to court documents, Boston Market Holding Corp. presented the second-highest bid, which was not disclosed. Golden, Colorado-based Boston Market is a national chain with 344 locations across the U.S. Florida has the most Boston Market restaurants, with 50 locations.

As the largest creditor, Monroe Capital's bid would have started at $25.5 million – the amount TooJay's owed. That means Boston Market would have had to bid more than that amount, in addition to whatever Monroe Capital was willing to add to the amount owed.

Court documents don't specify what each company bid. Jordi Guso, managing partner of the Miami office of Berger Singerman LLP who represented TooJay's, was not available for comment.

TooJay's CEO Maxwell Piet said the company closed five restaurants Wednesday.

"The extraordinary challenges presented by Covid-19, including government-mandated restrictions and reluctance among consumers to dine out, continue to create a difficult financial impact," he said.

The closed restaurants were in Fort Lauderdale, Naples, Sarasota, Waterford Lakes and the Villages. Piet said there are no plans to close additional restaurants.

TooJay's had 28 eateries open prior to its bankruptcy filing. According to court documents, the company had 740 employees at the end of July.

TooJay's emerged from the Chapter 11 reorganization debt-free, according to a statement from the company. It added that Monroe Capital ensured it will continue to provide capital to support the growth of the business.

Piet said the company's headquarters will remain in West Palm Beach and the there were no changes to the leadership team.

“For 39 years, TooJay’s has been an iconic, well-recognized brand serving many Florida communities," he said in a statement. "Prior to Covid-19, the company’s revenue was ahead of last year, but the pandemic's impact created difficulty for many industries. We want to thank our team members and guests for their support during this time. Our locations are open and continue to serve our communities, and we look forward to the future."

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