ALPHARETTA, Ga. — Mountain Express Oil Co. filed for voluntary protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas.
The fuel distributor and convenience retailer will use the Chapter 11 process to achieve a comprehensive restructuring that will strengthen the company's fuel distribution business, dealer network and retail business.
Mountain Express is also in advanced discussions with its secured lenders regarding a commitment of debtor-in-possession financing which will provide additional liquidity to the company and assure its ability to meet its post-petition obligations in the ordinary course of business, according to the company.
Mountain Express will continue discussions with its financial stakeholders, including its landlords and other key constituents, to maximize value for all stakeholders.
"Through this process, Mountain Express will continue to transform the business for the future while bolstering our financial position," said Turjo Wadud, CEO of Mountain Express. "I am confident in the strength of our business and our team and look forward to achieving a comprehensive resolution that will best position Mountain Express for long-term success. We continue to have a robust pipeline and will continue to provide opportunities for our dealers, partners and employees. During this process, we intend to maintain the underlying durability of our business as well as our strong relationships in the industry."
Mountain Express-owned or affiliated fuel centers, travel centers and convenience stores will maintain normal operations throughout the Chapter 11 process. The company filed customary motions with the Bankruptcy Court intended to allow the distributor and retailer to maintain operations in the ordinary course including, but not limited to, paying employees and continuing existing benefits programs, upholding commitments under its dealer and retail agreements, and fulfilling go-forward obligations including fuel supplier and other vendor payments.
To help fund and protect its operations, the company intends to use cash collateral, upon approval from the Bankruptcy Court, along with normal operating cash flows, as it pursues a value-maximizing restructuring.
Mountain Express Oil said it expects to emerge from Chapter 11 in a timely manner.
Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP is serving as counsel, Raymond James & Associates Inc. is serving as investment banker, and FTI Consulting is serving as restructuring advisor to Mountain Express. Michael Healy of FTI Consulting has been appointed chief restructuring officer.
Based in Alpharetta, Mountain Express Oil Co. was founded in 2000. It serves 828 fueling centers and 27 travel centers across 27 states. Since 2013, Mountain Express has distributed more than 1.1 billion gallons of fuel.