Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Carlyle's LifeCare & Mrs. Fields Meet Real Mex & Friendly's

The Carlyle Group used debt to engineer a takeover of Mrs. Fields.  I recently pondered whether Carlyle, owner of LifeCare Hospitals and a portion of the company's debt, would cram itself down when $120 million in debt comes due next year?

Real Mex restaurants declared bankruptcy and faces two bidders for the chain, neither of which are The Carlyle Group.  Nations Restaurant News stated:

Real Mex is owned by private-equity firm Sun Capital Partners, based in Boca Raton, Fla., which also owns Friendly’s Ice Cream Corp.

Friendly’s also filed for bankruptcy in October and was put up for auction in December — only to be repurchased by Sun Capital in a credit bid deal that closed last month.

In repurchasing the company (Friendly's), Sun shed many of its leases and unsecured debt, including employee pension obligations.

Executed like a true PEU. Carlyle is also known for pension shedding.