EZ Lube Files for Chapter 11

Santa Ana, Calif. EZ Lube is the latest retailer to fall victim to the economic downturn. The company said Tuesday that it filed for bankruptcy protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, along with its Xpress Lube-Tech affiliate, and put the company up for sale.

To ensure that it can provide customers with uninterrupted operations and keep vendor relationships intact, the 82-location chain will sell its assets, as well as funds managed by GSO Capital Partners LP, to EZ Lube Acquisition Co. This is an affiliate of the company’s existing lenders, Goldman Sachs Specialty Lending Group, Inc.

Goldman Sachs has also agreed to provide the oil-lube company with debtor-in-possession financing, designed to allow it to continue operating between the bankruptcy filing and the sale of the company.

“Completing the sale through the Chapter 11 process will allow us to significantly reduce our debt and undertake an orderly transition of ownership,” said Marc Graham, president and CEO, EZ Lube. “Throughout the sale process, servicing our customers and providing valuable preventative-maintenance services is our priority.”

Besides continuing with daily operations and existing store hours, “the company has requested the court’s permission to continue to honor gift certificates and coupons, as well as warranties and VIP program,” Graham reported. “Looking ahead, we believe the action begun today will result in a more competitive future for EZ Lube.”

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