03/31/2011 05:47 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Sbarro Pizza Prepares To File For Bankruptcy

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Fast-food pizza chain Sbarro Inc may file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as soon as next week, the Wall Street Journal said Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.

A bankruptcy would make the Melville, New York-based company the latest of a string of restaurant chains, including Fuddruckers and Charlie Brown's Steakhouse, to succumb to the economic downturn and a drop in consumer spending.

Struggling with debt, Sbarro had disclosed in January that it hired bankruptcy and restructuring advisers and lawyers.

Its lenders include Bank of America Corp and private equity owner MidOcean Partners, which purchased the company through a more than $400 million buyout in 2007.

Sbarrois in talks with hedge funds holding its senior debt to obtain $35 million of debtor-in-possession financing so it can keep operating while in bankruptcy, the Journal said. Talks remained fluid, and an agreement could still fall apart, it added.

A spokesman for Sbarro said the company continues to work on restructuring its debt and expects to operate normally during that process. (Reporting by Dena Aubin; editing by Carol Bishopric, Dave Zimmerman)

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