Adding It All Up

Convenient Food Mart seeks relief for $9 million in debt

WILMINGTON, Del. -- An appearance in bankruptcy court Friday brought some clarity to the sudden Chapter 11 filing by Convenient Food Mart's parent company. According to court documents, Painesville, Ohio-based CF Capital Assets LLC owes a variety of lenders and creditors more than $9 million.

During the June 10 hearing, CF Capital's attorney, Michael DeBaecke, also requested the court allow the company to use its cash collateral to pay new bills coming in. Without access to those funds, which were frozen upon the filing of bankruptcy, CF Capital's ability [image-nocss] to maintain operations will be crippled, which will cause immediate and irreparable harm, DeBaecke said.

It is not known if the court made a ruling on DeBaecke's request. Repeated attempts to reach the attorney and Convenient Food Mart/CF Capital Assets CEO John Call for comment have been unsuccessful.

The largest debt noted in the court documents is $5.05 million owed on a loan from Morton Grove, Ill.-based XXV Corp. The loanoriginally for $27 millionstems from Convenient Food Mart's previous run through Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in 1989-1991.

CF Capital also owes $2 million to Huntington Capital Investment Co. That debt stems from a loan acquired in 2002 when Call formed CF Capital Assets for the purpose of purchasing all of Convenient Food Mart's assets. The money acquired from the Huntington loan ultimately was paid to XXV Corp. in partial satisfaction of its secured claims against Convenient Food Mart, according to court documents.

Finally, CF Capital estimates it owes another $2 million to about 300 creditors, including two gasoline suppliers: Lyden Oil Co. of Youngstown, Ohio, ($465,000) and Countywide Petroleum of North Royalton, Ohio, (about $450,000).

As reported in CSP Daily News, CF Capital Assets filed for bankruptcy protection on June 2 in Wilmington, Del., where the company is incorporated. The 47-year-old Convenient Food Mart chain has 236 locations in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, most of them run through regional franchisers. The national headquarters owns the Cleveland franchise, which has about 60 stores.