More Gloom and Doom for Sportsman's Warehouse

Monday, March 23, 2009 - by Richard Simms

Sportsman's Warehouse has declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The Sportsman's Warehouse at Hwy. 153 and Lee Hwy. is a favorite among many area hunters and fishermen. Sources tell Outdoors that the Chattanooga Sportsman's Warehouse is the 4th most profitable store in the nationwide chain.

Chapter 11 bankruptcy is seeking legal protection from creditors during a reorganization or restructuring of finances.... versus Chapter 7 which is complete liquidation of assets.

Today's announcement comes on the heels of a previous announcement of a failed buyout two weeks ago. They did announce the closure of 23 stores and sold another 15 stores across the country at that time.

Sportsman's Warhouse is based in Utah. Stuart Utgaard, Sportsman's Warehouse chairman and CEO, told Utah's Deseret News that he hopes to have a reorganization plan approved by the court and move out of bankruptcy protection within the time allowed. Tentatively, the plan would call for continuing to operate 29 stores and retaining about 2,500 employees while reducing outstanding debt and repaying creditors. In its filing, according to a Bloomberg News report, the company declared combined assets of $436.3 million and total outstanding debt of $452.2 million as of Dec. 31, 2008.

However Utgaard also reportedly said that since sweeping federal bankruptcy law changes in 2005, no retailer the size of Sportsman's Warehouse has successfully emerged from the process.

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