Mountain Express Oil Co. announced that the company filed for voluntary protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas. The company intends to use the Chapter 11 process to achieve a comprehensive restructuring that will strengthen its fuel distribution business, dealer network and retail business. The company is also in advanced discussions with its secured lenders regarding a commitment of debtor-in-possession financing, which will provide additional liquidity to the company and assure its ability to meet its post-petition obligations in the ordinary course of business. Mountain Express will continue discussions with its financial stakeholders, including critical conversations with its landlords and other key constituents to maximize value for all stakeholders.
Mountain Express-owned or -affiliated fuel centers, travel centers, convenience stores and retail operations are maintaining normal operations. The company expects to continue business in the ordinary course throughout the Chapter 11 process. To help fund and protect its operations, Mountain Express intends to use cash collateral, upon approval from the Bankruptcy Court, along with normal operating cash flows, as the company pursues a value-maximizing restructuring and seeks to emerge from Chapter 11 in a timely manner.
“Through this process, Mountain Express will continue to transform the business for the future while bolstering our financial position,” said Turjo Wadud, CEO of Mountain Express. “I am confident in the strength of our business and our team and look forward to achieving a comprehensive resolution that will best position Mountain Express for long-term success. We continue to have a robust pipeline and will continue to provide opportunities for our dealers, partners and employees. During this process, we intend to maintain the underlying durability of our business as well as our strong relationships in the industry.”
The company has filed customary motions with the Bankruptcy Court intended to allow Mountain Express to maintain operations in the ordinary course, including, but not limited to, paying employees and continuing existing benefits programs, upholding commitments under its dealer and retail agreements and fulfilling go-forward obligations including fuel supplier and other vendor payments. Such motions are typical in the Chapter 11 process, and Mountain Express anticipates that the company will be heard and approved in the first few days of its Chapter 11 cases.
Founded in 2000 and based in Alpharetta, Ga., Mountain Express Oil Co. is one of the largest fuel distributors in the American South. Mountain Express serves 828 fueling centers and 27 travel centers across 27 states.