Cosi shuts stores, sets sale, files for bankruptcy

Cosi Chicago

The franchisor of the Cosi fast-casual chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection today after closing 29 of the system’s 105 stores and agreeing to sell all remaining assets to its principal debtors and affiliates of a shareholder, Lloyd Miller.

The company said it has $4 million on hand to fund continuing operations until the restructuring is completed.

“We worked very hard to avoid this step,” Mark Demilio, the chairman of Cosi Inc., said in a statement. “With the advice and support of outside advisors, we’ve explored multiple paths,” including partial sales of assets and raising more capital.

“It’s become clear that, despite the extensive efforts by the company, no such transactions are achievable at this time,” Demilio said.

The statement asserted that the operation of 31 franchised restaurants would be unaffected.

The filing follows the dismissal of CEO and former franchisee RJ Dourney a month ago.


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