As expected, Southeastern Grocers announced on Tuesday that it had filed for bankruptcy protection as part of a plan to restructure its debt and and reorganize. 

The Florida-based owner of Winn-Dixie, Bi-Lo and Fresco y Mas will reduce its debt by $500 million while continuing to operate nearly 600 stores.

"Today, with the support of our key stakeholders, we are taking the next step in the implementation of our financial restructuring plan," says Anthony Hucker, Southeastern's president and CEO. "This pre-packaged, court-supervised financial restructuring process provides for a clear and expedited path to put SEG in the best position to serve our communities and succeed in the competitive retail market in which we do business."

The company had previously announced it was closing 94 of its under-performing stores. It has secured 100-percent committed exit financing in the form of senior secured six-year term load facility in the original principal amount of $525 million and an asset-based lending revolving credit facility.