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NORCROSS, GA-SouthEast Waffles, the largest independent franchisee of Waffle House restaurants, has become a hot item as it tries to exit bankruptcy court with a new owner, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Golfer Phil Mickelson, a Tennessee restaurateur and the parent company of the Waffle House chain are all part of competing bids for Nashville-based franchisee and its 105 restaurants.

SouthEast Waffles, which has outlets in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and Kentucky, filed for bankruptcy protection in August 2008. Waffle House, the Norcross-based franchisor of the chain, made a $21.4 million bid last month for SouthEast Waffles, according to court filings.

GS Acquisitions, a company that includes Mickelson as a principal, followed with a $20.2 million bid. Other GS principals include Steve Loy, CEO of Gaylord Sports Management, and Terry Pefanis, former chief operating officer of Big Idea, best known for its “VeggieTales” series.

Late last week, MNM Waffles submitted a $24.7 million bid. The CEO for the newly formed MNM Waffles is Maria Tangredi. Her husband and son are executives in M. Tangredi’s Restaurants, a Nashville restaurant firm.

The three bids are scheduled to be reviewed next week by the US Bankruptcy Court, but it could take months to determine what happens with SouthEast Waffles. Click here to read the complete story from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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