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GNC, with 8 St. Louis-area locations, files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

GNC, which blamed the COVID-19 pandemic for the bankruptcy, also said the bankruptcy process could lead to an outright sale of the company
Credit: SLBJ
Exterior of the GNC World Headquarters on Wood Street in downtown Pittsburgh.

ST. LOUIS — GNC Holdings Inc., the parent company of nutrition retailer GNC and one of Pittsburgh's largest publicly traded companies, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from creditors late Tuesday night. GNC, which blamed the COVID-19 pandemic for the bankruptcy, also said the bankruptcy process could lead to an outright sale of the company.

GNC has eight St. Louis-area locations, including at St. Louis Galleria, West County Center, Richmond Center, Deer Creek Center, Hampton Village Plaza, Gravois Bluffs and Arnold Commons.

GNC (NYSE: GNC) said it had reached a deal with some of its secured lenders for $130 million in financing and it would continue operations through the bankruptcy process and work toward a prearranged reorganization plan by a number of its creditors. GNC also announced it had reached an agreement in principle for the $760 million sale of the company with the agreement of a "significant majority" of secured lenders and Harbin Pharmaceutical Group Holding Co. Ltd., GNC's largest shareholder.

The company termed the restructuring as dual-track, leading either to a standalone recovery or through a sale process. GNC said it had begun a marketing process for the business and the sale could be implemented instead of emerging from bankruptcy.

"With the support of its lenders and key stakeholders, the company expects to confirm a standalone plan of reorganization or consummate a sale that will enable the business to exit from this process in the fall of this year," GNC said in a statement.

In its filing Tuesday night in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, GNC estimated its total debts as $895 million and total assets of $1.4 billion. It said it had more than 100,000 creditors, and its largest unsecured claim was $157.9 million to The Bank of New York Mellon Trust Co. in Pittsburgh. 

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