Pike Nursery Holding LLC (dba Pike Family Nurseries, Pike Nurseries)  filed a Chapter 11 petition in the Northern District of Georgia today.  Ch. 11 Case No. 07-79129 (Nov. 14, 2007).  The skeletal petition lists the number of creditors of between 1,000-5,000, with assets and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million. 

Pike is owned by Roark Capital Group, which also owns, among other things, Moe’s Southwest Grill (acquired earlier this year), Cinnabon, Carvel Ice Cream, Seattle’s Best Coffee and Schlotzky’s Deli. Roark used to have a significent interest in Movie Gallery, Inc., which recently filed a Chapter 11.

According to the company website, the company has 20 retail stores in the area. From the AJC –

Officials from the Norcross, Ga.-based company say normal nursery operations and customer service will continue without being disrupted.

The company has secured $11.75 million in financing to help it operate during bankruptcy.

Pike Nursery chairman and CEO Scott Schnell says the extended drought and resulting water restrictions have had a material detrimental effect on business.

The retailer has 22 locations in Georgia, North Carolina and Alabama.

From the Atlanta Business Chronicle

According to the court filing, Pike Nursery Holding owes nearly $5.6 million to its 20 largest unsecured creditors. It owes $716,779 to its top creditor, Monrovia, a leading ornamental plant grower based in California. Other creditors include Pennington Seed Co. in Madison, Sunbelt Greenhouses in Douglas, Baskin Nursery Inc. in Loganville, Ga., and Coweta Greenhouses Inc. in Newnan, Ga.

The company said a restructuring would allow it to cut its debt, improve its balance sheet and align its business strategy and operational structure with the current climate and market conditions.

"Our core Atlanta area market is currently suffering from the worst drought in over 100 years," said Scott Schnell, chairman and CEO of Pike. "This extended drought and resulting water use restrictions have had a material detrimental effect on our business. After careful consideration we concluded that a Chapter 11 restructuring represents the best long-term solution for Pike."