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Planet Hollywood Ready for Another Comeback

The theme-restaurant chain will emerge from bankruptcy for the second time in two years.

December 17, 2002|From Associated Press

Planet Hollywood International Inc. on Monday won approval to emerge from bankruptcy protection for the second time in two years and began focusing on regaining its stature in a battered theme-restaurant industry that peaked in the late 1990s.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Arthur Briskman approved Planet Hollywood's reorganization plan, despite concerns from businesses that claim they are still owed money, state and local governments that are owed back taxes and a New York landlord with which the company has a lease dispute.

The reorganized movie-themed restaurant and retail store will be privately held. It went public in 1996.

Orlando, Fla.-based Planet Hollywood plans to focus on sales at its 10 remaining restaurants in tourist destinations such as Orlando, Hawaii, Las Vegas, Minnesota's Mall of America, New York, London, Paris, Disneyland Paris, Atlantic City, N.J., and Myrtle Beach, S.C.

President and Chief Executive Robert Earl will remain in charge of the company.

Four years ago, Planet Hollywood and its franchises and licensees had 95 restaurants in 31 countries. The company emerged from its first bankruptcy in 2000 with 22 restaurants. But Planet Hollywood filed for bankruptcy protection again last year, claiming that the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and decline in tourism had hurt sales.

The reorganized Planet Hollywood will change how it compensates its celebrity endorsers, offering only expense payments instead of issuing shares of company stock. Under the company's leases, each Planet Hollywood restaurant must have six appearances a year from a movie star.

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