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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, March 6, 2010

U.S. Dry Cleaning files for bankruptcy

By Greg Wiles
Advertiser Staff Writer

The parent company of Young Laundry and Caesars Cleaners yesterday filed for bankruptcy in California after finding it couldn't refinance debt that was coming due.

U.S. Dry Cleaning Corp. filed for a Chapter 11 reorganization citing assets of $1 million to $10 million and debts between $10 million and $50 million.

Mike Drace, general manager of the company's Hawai'i operations, said it would only have a subtle affect on Young and Caesars and that customers shouldn't be able to discern any changes in service.

"We're not expecting the filing to affect us out here," Drace said. "The Hawai'i operation is not in jeopardy at all."

He said no layoffs will occur here and that the 13 Young Laundry and four Caesars cleaners stores, along with the company's pick up and delivery service, should see no changes. He said the commercial operation will also operate as normal, with six-day a week service to all of its customers.

The company issued a press release saying it had been trying to refinance or extend debt that was maturing.

"Over many months, the company has searched for capital, and endeavored to negotiate with its unsecured and secured creditors to obtain the time needed to develop a long-term solution," the company said in its press statement. It said it continues to look at strategic alternatives and that it is looking at a reorganization plan reducing its debt and providing adequate liquidity for operations.

U.S. Dry Cleaning bought Young Laundry in 2005 with the idea of replicating the operation's formula elsewhere across the country. It later sold shares to the public at $2.50 each and in 2008 bought Caesars Cleaners.

Its shares closed trading yesterday at 4 cents each.