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February 25, 2005

Feds start investigating Krispy Kreme

A couple of weeks ago it was the sale of the corporate jet. This week it's a federal criminal investigation as formerly high-flying retail doughnut franchisor Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc. moved a step closer to what appears to be an inevitable chapter 11 reorganization.

Krispy Kreme announced yesterday that the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York had launched an investigation that appears to be focused on the company's franchise repurchases and a profit warning that the company issued in May, 2004. As is typical in such announcements, the the Winston-Salem, N.C.-based company said that the company is "cooperating fully" with the investigation. Here are the previous posts over the past year on Krispy Kreme's mounting troubles.

The investigation deepens the problems facing Krispy Kreme, which is facing a liquidity crisis by the end of March. The company has been struggling with slowing sales and an SEC probe of its accounting practices that began last year. The company is cutting about 25% of its nonstore work force as part of a turnaround plan under Stephen F. Cooper, the Enron restructuring expert who became chief executive at Krispy Kreme in January.

Krispy Kreme stock was trading at $5.36 at the close of New York Stock Exchange composite trading yesterday, leaving the stock at about one-tenth of its peak price in August 2003. The company has also been blasted by multiple shareholder lawsuits over the past several months, which are another reason that chapter 11 appears to be an inevitable part of the company's reorganization.

Posted by Tom at February 25, 2005 6:10 AM |

Comments

So, can we say that this will be the first "death" related to the Low Carb diet craze?

Posted by: jim bob baker at February 25, 2005 9:34 AM

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