SYMBOL: HIS (TSXV)
LAVAL, QC, Feb. 15, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Hart Stores Inc. (TSXV: HIS) is pleased to announce that at a meeting of its creditors held today, the creditors voted on and accepted, by the required majorities, an amended Plan of Compromise and Arrangement filed by Hart Stores pursuant to the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (Canada).
It is expected that Hart Stores will present the amended Plan of Compromise and Arrangement to the Québec Superior Court for ratification on February 27, 2012. If ratified by the Québec Superior Court, the Plan will become binding on all affected creditors.
The Plan of Compromise and Arrangement approved by creditors today provides that Hart Stores will make payments totaling $6 million over three years to the Monitor (RSM Richter Inc.) under the CCAA, for distribution to Hart Stores' unsecured creditors. Under the Plan of Compromise and Arrangement, unsecured creditors may elect to receive their pro rata share of the $6 million, or a lump-sum payment equal to the lesser of the value of their claim or $1,000.
Depending on the final results of the claims process, the proposed payment of $6 million under the Plan of Compromise and Arrangement represents approximately $0.19 to $0.23 for each dollar owed to Hart Stores' unsecured creditors as at August 30, 2011, the date on which Hart Stores received protection under the CCAA, as well as to certain of Hart Stores' lessors and employees. The proposed payment of $6 million under the Plan of Arrangement does not directly affect Hart Stores' secured creditors.
RSM Richter Inc. has been appointed Monitor pursuant to the Initial Order of the Québec Superior Court. All inquiries regarding the CCAA proceedings should be directed to the Monitor. Further information about Hart Stores' restructuring can be found on the Monitor's website at the following address: http://www.rsmrichter.com/restructuring/Hart.aspx.
About Hart Stores Inc.:
Hart Stores Inc. operates a network of 75 mid-sized department stores of which 15 stores have been slated for closure by the end of February, 2012, under the Hart, Bargain Giant and Géant des Aubaines banners. The stores are located in secondary and tertiary markets throughout Eastern Canada where the Company has established a dominant position in many of the communities that it serves. The stores offer an extensive and differentiated selection of national and exclusive fashion apparel brands as well as family footwear, home furnishings, electronics, appliances, giftware, toys and seasonal goods.
Forward-Looking Statements and Disclaimer
Certain statements included in this press release may constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking statements are based on the best estimates available to Hart Stores at the time and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause Hart Stores' actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. A description of the risks affecting Hart Stores' business and activities appears under the heading "Risks & Uncertainties" in Management's Discussion and Analysis on pages 18 to 20 of Hart Stores' 2011 Annual Report, which is available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. No assurance can be given that any events anticipated by the forward-looking information in this press release will transpire or occur, or if any of them do so, what benefits that Hart Stores will derive therefrom. In particular, no assurance can be given as to the future financial performance of Hart Stores. Undue reliance should not be placed on these forward-looking statements, which are made only as of the date of this press release. Hart Stores disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements in order to account for any new information or any other event.
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
For further information:
Hart Stores Inc.
Mr. Robert Harritt
Vice-President Finance and Chief Financial Officer
Hart Stores Inc.
(450) 661-4155, ext. 595
RSM Richter Inc. (Monitor)
Benoit Gingues, CA
Partner, RSM Richter Inc. (514) 934-3514
Stéphane De Broux, CA
Vice President, RSM Richter Inc. (514) 934-8621