October 8/Food & Farm Week Pierre Foods Inc. filed a consensual joint plan of reorganization and disclosure statement with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

The plan is supported by funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management L.P., the company's single largest creditor, and Pierre's official committee of unsecured creditors. Pierre will ask the bankruptcy court to confirm the plan in early December 2008 and hopes to emerge from bankruptcy shortly thereafter. Oaktree supplied the company's debtor-in-possession (DIP) credit facility, and upon confirmation of the plan, funds managed by Oaktree will become the majority owner of Pierre.

"The filing of this consensual plan represents a significant step forward in our efforts to emerge from chapter 11 as a stronger Company that can operate profitably in this difficult economic environment and beyond," said Norbert Woodhams, chief executive officer of Pierre Foods. "We are very pleased to have Oaktree as our new financial sponsor and believe that Oaktree's continuing commitment to Pierre demonstrates its deep belief in the fundamental strengths and the inherent value of our company."

Woodhams added, "Thanks to the loyalty of Pierre's dedicated employees, customers and vendors, we have made great progress in our efforts to restructure the company and are poised to conclude our restructuring more quickly than originally projected. We have realigned our capital structure by eliminating over $225 million of debt and our business continues to perform in line with our expectations. We look forward to concluding this process and emerging from chapter 11 as expeditiously as possible."

From the October 13, 2008, Prepared Foods e-Flash