UPDATE 1-Sbarro's bankruptcy plan wins court approval

Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:11pm EST

Nov 17 (Reuters) - Sbarro Inc's restructuring plan has won court approval, paving the way for the pizza chain to emerge from bankruptcy protection later this month.

The company, which filed for bankruptcy in April, expects to come out of bankruptcy on November 28.

"When we emerge from bankruptcy, our debts will have been reduced by approximately 70 percent," Chief Executive Officer Nicholas McGrane said in a statement.

"Our business is performing solidly as we head into our busiest period of the year."

Last month, the company had filed an amended reorganization plan, under which its lenders had agreed to provide about $35 million of new capital and reduce its total debt.

Melville, New York-based Sbarro sells pizza, pastas and other Italian foods.

The Sbarro family started their company as a salumeria, or Italian grocery store, in Brooklyn in 1956 soon after immigrating to the United States from Naples, Italy. Its ubiquitous green, white and red banner is a familiar sight in malls, rest stops and airports.

The case is In re: Sbarro Inc, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, No. 11-11527.

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