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Dairy Mart's Troubles Continue

Dairy Mart Convenience Stores Inc. failed to make an interest payment due yesterday of approximately $4.5 million on its 10.25 percent senior subordinated notes due 2004.

There are currently $88.5 million of senior subordinated notes outstanding, the company said. The missed interest payment does not constitute an event of default under the bond indenture unless Dairy Mart fails to make the payment within 30 days of the due date.

Dairy Mart is in active discussion with an ad hoc committee of bondholders representing a substantial majority of the principal amount of the bonds, and has advised the committee that the company is exploring potential financing and strategic alternatives to address its liquidity shortfall and to maximize the company's value for shareholders.

"There can be no guarantee that these efforts will be successful or that additional financing will be obtained," the company warned in a statement.

Officials at Dairy Mart, which owns and operates 546 convenience stores in seven states, declined to comment further on the company's financial situation.
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