Ritz Camera Converting to Chapter 7 to Continue Lawsuits

January 17, 2013 | Bloomberg Brief | www.bloombergbriefs.com

The Chapter 11 reorganization of Ritz Camera & Image LLC was converted this week to liquidation in Chapter 7 where a trustee (Alfred Giuliano) was appointed automatically.

Once the operator of 265 camera stores and an Internet business, Ritz sold all the assets in going-out-of-business sales that ended in October. The company said the secured lender can't be paid in full until there is successful conclusion to "certain substantial and complex litigation claims" believed to have "very significant value."

The company itself sought conversion to Chapter 7.

The sales were held when Ritz was unable to find a buyer to acquire the remaining camera stores as a going concern.

Based in Beltsville, Maryland, Ritz called itself the largest camera-store chain in the U.S., with net sales of $254 million for a year ended in April. Pre-bankruptcy debt included $16.3 million owing to Crystal Financial LLC, a secured lender with liens on all assets.

The camera stores and the Internet business were both in bankruptcy before. The stores operated under names including Ritz Camera, Wolf Camera, and The Camera Shop.

The new case is Ritz Camera & Image LLC, 12-11868, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

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