Flying J Files For Chapter 11

Flying J Inc. said it has filed voluntary petitions to reorganize under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.

The filing will allow Flying J and its subsidiaries “to address near-term liquidity needs brought about by the precipitous decline in oil prices coupled with the disruption in the credit markets,” the company said.

All of its operations, including roughly 250 travel plazas and fuel stops, are open and serving customers in the normal course, the company said, adding that it plans to continue normal business operations as it moves through the reorganization process.

The filing includes Flying J Inc. and its Big West refining and Longhorn Pipeline subsidiaries only. No other subsidiaries or affiliates were included in the filing.

“Even though Flying J today is a successful and historically profitable company, it faced near-term liquidity pressure from an unprecedented combination of factors,” said J. Phillip Adams, Flying J president and CEO.

Among those factors: The precipitous drop in the price of oil and the lack of available financing from the company’s traditional sources due to disrupted credit markets.

“With this sudden and unanticipated inability to meet our liquidity needs, we regret that we had no other choice than a Chapter 11 filing to enable us to stabilize our financial base,” Adams said in a statement. “The good news is we have valuable assets, we do not expect layoffs will be necessary, and we are optimistic we will be able to generate substantial cash internally to allow us to meet our obligations going forward.”

Adams said the company plans to move through the process quickly so it can address its short-term liquidity needs and allow it to meet past obligations in full.

“In the meantime, our team is focused on continuing business as usual,” he said. “We appreciate the support and understanding of our vendors and suppliers during this time.”

Flying J will file customary “First Day” motions to support its employees, customers and suppliers so its associates can continue to be paid in the usual manner, and so their medical, dental, life insurance, disability and other benefits will continue without disruption. Suppliers will be paid under normal terms for goods and services provided after the Dec. 22, 2008 filing date.

Based in Ogden, Utah, Flying J Inc. is among the 20 largest private companies in the U.S., with 2007 sales exceeding $16 billion.

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