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Reddy Ice Holdings to seek bankruptcy protection

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As reported in the Free Press earlier this week Dallas-based Reddy Ice Holdings Inc., the largest packaged ice company in North America, announced today that it will be seeking bankruptcy protection.

The company also disclosed that the restructuring plan it is proposing includes the intention to acquire the assets of Arctic Glacier.

Winnipeg-based Arctic Glacier, the second-largest ice company, filed for bankruptcy protection in late February. Arctic is now going through a sale and investor solicitation process to find investors to take over the financial backing of the company from the current secured lenders.

Arctic announced today that Reddy Ice has submitted an offer for Arctic but would not disclose any details of the offer or on how many other offers the company may have received.

Although some financial industry officials familiar with these businesses say such a merger makes sense, there will likely be a rigorous review of the deal from regulators in the U.S. at least.

Both Arctic and Reddy were subjected to an intense anti-trust investigation in the U.S. starting in 2008 that left both companies hobbled with very expensive debt, millions in legal bills, uncertainty over ongoing civil suits and a $9-million fine to Arctic.

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