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ORLANDO-For the second time in three years, locally based Planet Hollywood International Inc. is avoiding creditors by filing for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankrtupcy Code.

The celebrity-themed restaurant, which once sported a stable of Hollywood stars as promoters and investors, is down to 10 company-owned locations and 25 franchised operations in Asia, Europe and the United States. Many of the Hollywood stars are no longer associated with the restaurant enterprise.

The firm, headed by British-born Robert I. Earl, had 60 active restaurants in 1999; 50 locations in February of this year and 40 in September. The company closed six locations in the last six weeks alone, vacating an estimated 180,000 sf of leased space, according to GlobeSt.com research.

The restaurants, each occupying an estimated average 30,000 sf, were in Washington, DC, Nashville, TN, San Diego, Atlanta, Baltimore and Seattle.

The company continues to operate at Downtown Disney and Universal Orlando. Planet Hollywood sold its four-story, 84,000-sf headquarters building and 13.9-acre property in south Orlando in 1999 to Chicago-based RREEF Funds for an estimated $23 million.

Planet Hollywood’s common was trading at 10 cents per share on the Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board at noon today. The stock was at 55 cents on Aug. 16; 30 cents on Sept. 27; and 26 cents on Oct. 18.

The company listed assets of $121 million and debt of $131 million in its Oct. 19 Chapter 11 petition. Planet Hollywood is being allowed to continue operating under court supervision on a debtor-in-possession status. That means Planet Hollywood must ask the bankruptcy judge for permission on all expenses and operational costs until it has completed its reorganization plan.

The company filed for Chapter 11 in October 1999 and emerged from bankruptcy protection in May 2000.

Singapore billionaire real estate magnate Ong Beng Seng sank $30 million into Planet Hollywood to get it started after coming out of Chapter 11 the first time. The company wrote off $282 million in debt at that time.

Besides Seng and company chairman Earl, other major Planet Hollywood investors are Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the controlling principal of Kingdom Planet Hollywood Ltd.; Bay Harbour Management Inc. of New York; and Magnetic Light Profits, a subsidiary of Seng-controlled Star East Holdings Ltd. Seng is also the lead principal in Leisure Ventures.

On the Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board, Planet Hollywood lists 10 million shares outstanding and a market capitalization of $1 million.

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