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Robertson Enterprises wants to fill tank with DIP

by Bill Meagher  |  Published July 4, 2012 at 6:00 AM
birmingham.jpgGerald Robertson Enterprises Inc., which operates convenience stores and supplies oil and gasoline in central Alabama, has filed for bankruptcy in hopes that a $1 million debtor-in-possession loan will help fuel its recovery.

A hearing before Judge Tamara O. Mitchell of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Alabama in Birmingham on the Oneonta, Ala., company's first-day motions, including preliminary DIP approval, was scheduled for Tuesday, July 3.

Robertson, which does business as Robertson Enterprises, filed for Chapter 11 protection on Monday.

Robertson is seeking DIP financing from its prepetition supplier, Jet Pep Inc. Under the terms of the DIP, filed Monday, Jet Pep will sell certain unspecified inventory to the debtor on a credit basis within seven to 10 days of DIP approval.

The price of the inventory will then be computed and Jet Pep will determine how much financing it will provide to Robertson, though the amount won't exceed $1 million. Any amount of the credit not paid would accrue 8% per annum interest and be secured by a first-priority security interest on the debtor's postpetition cash collateral. No other terms of the loan were included in court documents.

Robertson is seeking cash collateral use from secured lenders Compass Bank, Central Leasing Corp., SouthCity Bank, Hometown Bank of Alabama and Cary Oil Co. It wasn't specified in court documents how much each lender is owed.

Formed by William Gerald and his wife, Nancy, the family-owned company is a gasoline retailer and wholesaler and distributes oil and fuel. The company owns and operates 15 convenience stores and serves more than 30 gas station customers throughout central Alabama.

Robertson blamed its bankruptcy filing on high fuel prices beginning in 2008 that then led to financial difficulties, including a higher-than-normal amount of customer debts, a steeper cost of goods and lower profit margins, court documents said. These problems led Robertson to borrow more so it could fund operations, and in 2011 the debtor started losing customers and its gas sales dropped significantly, which lowered its revenue.

On June 25, Hometown Bank put a hold on Robertson's bank accounts, which led the company to file for bankruptcy protection and seek DIP financing.

Robinson's equity holders include Robertson Living Trust (with a 99% stake) and William Gerald Robertson (1%).

The company's largest unsecured creditors include Murphy Oil Corp. (owed $502,424), Gerald Robertson (419,000) and Hometown Bank ($395,000).

The company listed $8.91 million in assets and $6.03 million in liabilities in schedules.

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Tags: Cary Oil Co. | Central Leasing Corp. | Compass Bank | Gerald Robertson Enterprises Inc. | Hometown Bank of Alabama | Jet Pep Inc. | Judge Tamara O. Mitchell | Murphy Oil Corp. | Robertson Living Trust | SouthCity Bank | U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Alabama in Birmingham | William Gerald Robertson

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Bill Meagher

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