Ritz Camera & Image lands in bankruptcy again

Fri Jun 22, 2012 11:33am EDT

(Reuters) - Photography retail chain Ritz Camera & Image LLC filed for bankruptcy protection in a U.S. court early on Friday, less than three years after it emerged from its first bankruptcy.

The company, which was founded in 1918, was bought in a bankruptcy auction in 2009 by a group led by its top executive.

RCI, the group that included Ritz Camera President David Ritz, had entered a winning bid worth about $33.1 million for the chain's 375 stores.

David Ritz is the second generation of his family to run the company and had expanded the business with a series of acquisitions.

Last August, Los Angeles-based private equity firm Transom Capital Group said it had provided capital to the company.

The filing is among several companies that have filed for a "Chapter 22" petition this year. Twinkie maker Hostess Brands and family-style restaurateur Buffets Inc, are repeat filers.

The Beltsville, Maryland-based Ritz, which operates nearly 300 stores in 34 states, listed assets and liabilities of between $50 million and $100 million.

Its largest unsecured creditors include Nikon Inc, Sony Corp of America, Fuji Photo North America Corp, among others.

The case is In re: Ritz Camera & Image LLC, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware, No:12-11868.

(Reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bangalore; Editing by Supriya Kurane)

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