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1/22/2004

Wickes files for bankruptcy

The Daily Times-Call

VERNON HILLS, Ill. — Wickes Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Tuesday, hoping to restructure its debt while it continues to operate its businesses.
The lumber company will continue to operate its businesses nationwide under Chapter 11 protection, including its Longmont location at 220 Collyer St.
“We’ll remain open,” said Kaj Lauridsen, a 30-year veteran of Wickes and general manager of the two Colorado stores. “We’ll go forward like we have.”
In conjunction with filing a voluntary petition for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, the company also announced it had received a commitment for $100 million in debtor-in-possession financing, which will replace Wickes’ current senior credit facility.
“Wickes has been operating with a highly leveraged balance sheet for many years,” Jim O’Grady, company president and CEO, said in a press release announcing the filing. “Our balance sheet problems have been exacerbated by the fact that, in recent years, we’ve strayed away from our core business and made significant capital expenditures on non-core businesses.”
According to the company’s press release, it has “sufficient financing to meet its ongoing obligations and intends to continue doing business with its customers and vendors in the same manner as before.”