Actor Patrick Dempsey Looks to Buy Coffee Chain out of Bankruptcy
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Actor Patrick Dempsey Looks to Buy Coffee Chain out of Bankruptcy

January 4, 2012

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Patrick Dempsey, the popular actor who stars as Dr. Derek Shepherd on "Grey’s Anatomy," has cobbled together a group of investors in an effort to buy Tully’s Coffee out of bankruptcy, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times.

Tully’s, a chain of coffee shops based in Seattle that has gained some renown for the revealing attire of its female baristas, filed for bankruptcy protection in October after experiencing a significant decrease in cash flow.

In the last few months, during the bankruptcy process, Tully’s has closed its most unprofitable stores and started reducing its overhead costs, which has led some analysts to predict a more promising financial future for the former Starbucks rival.

And the coffee chain, which was once dubbed the "Hooter’s of coffee," may have more reason to celebrate if the group of investors led by Dempsey is able to rescue the company from caffeine obscurity.

In a recent statement, Dempsey said he is "excited about the opportunity to save hundreds of jobs, give back to Seattle and become a larger part of the economic growth and fabric of the community."

Dempsey also claimed that he has "always loved" Seattle and hopes to "spend a lot of time in Seattle" if he is able to purchase the company, according to sources. The actor also professed hope that Seattle would be his "home away from home in the very near future."

Of course, before Tully’s becomes an official part of Dempsey’s investment orbit, the actor and his partners must still purchase the company at a bankruptcy auction.

Sources note that Dempsey will likely have some heated competition for the coffee chain. One potential competitor is Baristas Coffee Co., which unsuccessfully made a $10.4 million offer to purchase Tully’s last month.

In addition to the potential presence of other buyers, the Chapter 11 bankruptcy sale will likely have to be approved by the court, although if the price is fair, this will probably be a formality.

Still, hopes remain high that Tully’s, which was founded in 1992 and has nearly four dozen stores in Washington and California, will be able to get back on its feet.


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