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Jax Daily Record Monday, Apr. 30, 201805:10 AM EST

Winn-Dixie parent proposes board of directors

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Confirmation hearing for reorganization plan set for May 14
by: Mark Basch Contributing Writer

Southeastern Grocers LLC filed an updated Chapter 11 reorganization plan last week that still doesn’t say who will own the company when it emerges from bankruptcy.

However, the updated filings do include a proposed board of directors for the Jacksonville-based company, which operates Winn-Dixie and three other supermarket chains.

Southeastern filed its prepackaged reorganization plan, with prior approval of most creditors, in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware on March 27. A confirmation hearing for the plan is scheduled for May 14.

As previously revealed in court documents, CEO Anthony Hucker will be one of five directors on the board.

An updated disclosure statement filed by the company proposes the other four board members: Lionel Harris, fund manager at Fidelity Management & Research Co.; Alan Lhota, senior managing director at Stifel Financial Corp.; Neal Goldman, managing member of Sage Capital Investments LLC; and Anthony Abate, chief operating officer and chief financial officer of education technology company Echo360 Inc.

Southeastern’s reorganization plan includes issuing stock to holders of unsecured notes, but court documents don’t say who those holders are who will end up as the owners of the company.

Documents have suggested investment firm Fidelity (which is not related to Jacksonville-based title insurance firm Fidelity National Financial Inc.) could be a significant noteholder, so it is no surprise to see a Fidelity representative appointed to the board. 

There hasn’t been anything in the documents indicating investment firm Stifel will be a significant shareholder.

Sage is a consulting firm that specializes in turnaround situations. There is nothing in court documents about an Echo360 connection to Southeastern’s plans.

Southeastern is owned by affiliates of Lone Star Funds. The investment firm’s ownership interest will be wiped out in the reorganization, but Lone Star will get a warrant entitling it to buy up to 5 percent of the stock.

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