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Krystal burger chain files for bankruptcy a second time

Southeastern slider chain Krystal has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, citing debts of as much as $100 million.

"The actions we are taking are intended to enable Krystal to establish a stronger business for the future and to achieve a restructuring in a fast and efficient manner," according to an emailed statement from the Krystal Co. 

Company-owned and franchised Krystal restaurants will continue running as usual, it added.

In filing for bankruptcy in the Northern District of Georgia, Krystal Holdings listed debts between $50 million and $100 million. 

The bankruptcy filing came just two months after the company announced a new executive team and hired an investment firm to try to franchise 100 to 150 of the Krystal units to other owners.

Krystal also filed for bankruptcy in 1997 in the face of millions of dollars of claims by employees for unpaid overtime, according to media accounts. Krystal was acquired from bankruptcy at that time by Port Royal Holdings in a $145 million deal.

The company was later sold and moved its headquarters to Atlanta from Chattanooga, Tennessee, after being acquired by private-equity firm Argonne Capital in 2012.

Founded in 1932, Krystal is known for its small, square hamburgers. It's the nation's second-oldest fast-food chain, behind White Castle, which started in 1921 and also is known for its sliders. 

Krystal operates about 320 restaurants in nine states and employs more than 6,500 people. 

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