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    Circle C to Liquidate

    The bankruptcy filing was due to lack of credit.

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Circle C Stores, operator of 25 convenience stores based here, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week and will liquidate, with plans to close stores, sell assets and pay creditors what it can, the Birmingham News reported.

    "This economy is hurting companies with good track records," Kevin Heard, a Huntsville lawyer representing the chain, told the paper. "When these folks lost credit, the company just imploded from within."

    The privately owned company was kept alive in recent years by an $800,000 injection of funds from founder Johnny Benson, according to the report, which cited court records.

    The company cited debts of between $1 million and $10 million, and assets of less than $500,000 in a filing with U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Decatur. It also listed creditors of between 50 and 99, the largest of which include GE Commercial for a store and office building totaling $800,000 ($450,000 of which is secured); Benson for a personal loan of $700,000; and the Internal Revenue Service for $500,000. Other creditors listed are several petroleum marketers, including Benson Oil, Citgo Petroleum, Conoco and Marathon Petroleum.

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