White Hen Finds Buyer

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White Hen Finds Buyer

CHICAGO -- Clark Retail Enterprises Inc. has agreed to sell White Hen Pantry Inc. to New York-based investment firm Angelo Gordon & Co. for $45 million, according to documents filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Chicago, reported Crain's Chicago Business. And U.S. Bankruptcy Judge John H. Squires is scheduled to rule on the sale agreement at a court hearing today.

A group of White Hen senior executives, including CEO and President Brandon K. Barnholt, also are preparing to acquire a less than 5-percent stake in the new company, Barnholt said in an interview with Crain's Chicago Business. The new owner will be called WHP Corp.

"I'm encouraged the deal can get done," said Barnholt, who will remain as White Hen's CEO and president. "It has such a great brand and name recognition in Chicago."

Among the other executives who will stay with the company and own a stake are Douglas Fritsch, vice-president of operations, and Thomas Romanello, director of merchandising, according to the report.

Clark filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last October, but kept White Hen out of Chapter 11 and put the convenience store chain up for sale in April to repay a $56.2-million debtor-in-possession loan.