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DALLAS - Fleming Companies Inc. on Friday announced that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., approved key first day motions, which are intended to support the company's vendors, customers, associates and other stakeholders.
"Today marks a positive step forward in Fleming's reorganization. The approval of our first day motions provides our stakeholders with needed financial clarity and permits us to conduct business in the ordinary course. The court's approval of these motions is key to our ability to better serve customers, pay trade vendors and continue health and welfare benefits for our associates," said Peter Willmott, Fleming's interim president and CEO.
The following motions were granted:
-- Approval for an interim financing commitment of $50 million as a bridge to a permanent $150 million debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing package for use by the company to continue operations and to purchase goods and services from vendors;
-- Approval for the use of Fleming's cash collateral on an interim basis;
-- Approval of administrative expense status for goods ordered before the bankruptcy filing but shipped after the filing;
-- Interim approval of an order prohibiting claimants from prosecuting claims under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act and the Packers and Stockyard Act, pending further hearing on April 21, 2003;
-- Continuation of customer programs and practices in the ordinary course of business, including the company's various customer rebate and incentive programs, vendor discounts and vendor ad funds programs;
-- Payment of pre-petition claims related to shipping and warehousing charges in the ordinary course;
-- Payment of pre-petition and post-petition obligations for current associates, including wages, salaries, commissions, business expenses; medical, dental, vision, COBRA, long-term disability and life insurance benefits; dues and health and welfare benefits paid on behalf of union associates.
The court set hearings to consider other relief, including a trade lien and critical vendor relief on April 10, and establishing a procedure for reclamation claimants on April 21.