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Friendly's franchisee J&B files for bankruptcy protection

Jan 6 (Reuters) - Friendly’s franchisee J&B Restaurant Partners of Long Island II LLC and certain affiliates filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Tuesday as part of a pre-negotiated restructuring plan.

J&B said the filing will allow it to close unprofitable restaurants, reduce debt and quickly emerge from bankruptcy.

The owner of 37 Friendly’s restaurants in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut expects to exit bankruptcy over the next six months and to remodel at least 11 restaurants over three years.

GE Capital Franchise Finance will provide a debtor-in-possession financing to enable normal operation, the company said in a statement.

“The closing of restaurants is a very difficult but necessary step in positioning J&B for financial health and a key component of the restructuring plan,” J&B Chief Operating Officer Dawn Petite said in a statement.

The bankruptcy filing does not affect Friendly’s Ice Cream, its affiliates and other Friendly’s franchisees or other J&B affiliates in non-related businesses, the company said.

Friendly's, an ice cream parlor chain known for its Happy Ending sundaes, filed for bankruptcy in October 2011. (reut.rs/1DirB4B)

J&B listed assets of about $500,000 to $1 million and liabilities of $10 million to $50 million.

The case is in J&B Restaurant Partners of Long Island II, LLC, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, no: 15-22009-rdd. (Reporting by Supriya Kurane in Bengaluru; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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