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Jewelry retailer Friedman Inc to file Plan of Reorganization

Aug '05
Savannah, Georgia based jewelry retailer Friedman's Inc the Value Leader announced it filed a proposed Plan of Reorganization and related Disclosure Statement with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Georgia, Savannah Division on August 4, 2005. The filing of the Plan positions Friedman's to emerge from chapter 11 on an accelerated basis in November 2005 before the 2005 holiday sales season.

The proposed Plan of Reorganization, which reflects the outcome of extensive negotiations between Friedman's and Harbert Distressed Investment Master Fund, Ltd., ("Harbert") as the proposed plan investor in Friedman's chapter 11 cases.

The Disclosure Statement filed in conjunction with the Plan of Reorganization includes information about the Plan and the Company's history, accomplishments during the chapter 11 cases, and future prospects including a 2005-2008 business plan that anticipates Friedman's return to profitability in fiscal year 2007.

The Creditors' Committee, which serves as fiduciary for the benefit of all unsecured creditors, has not agreed to the treatment for unsecured creditors proposed in the Plan. Representatives of the Company, Harbert, and the Creditors' Committee devoted significant time and effort in attempting to reach resolution on the treatment for unsecured creditors, but were unable to do so prior to the filing of the Plan.

The Company filed the Plan and has commenced the Court process required to approve the Plan because the Plan should enable the Company to emerge from Chapter 11 with a healthy balance sheet and appropriate liquidity to execute its strategic four year business plan, and the Company's plan investor (which is providing the funding necessary to implement the Plan) would not support more favorable treatment of creditors and interest holders than is contained in the Plan based on the Company's financial circumstances and future prospects as described in the Disclosure Statement.

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