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Kitchen Too Hot For Mrs. Fields?


In Business This Week

KITCHEN TOO HOT FOR MRS. FIELDS?

Mrs. Fields is throwing in her apron. On Feb. 17, Debbie Fields, who started her cookie-making empire in Palo Alto, Calif., back in 1977, stepped down as president and chief executive officer. Fields, who retains her position as chairwoman, turned over nearly 80% of the company to four lenders led by Prudential Insurance Co.

The lenders, in return, will forgive $46 million in debt taken on to fuel the company's expansion plans. Shareholders aren't totally wiped out: They'll receive one share of the restructured company for every eight they now hold. The agreement still must be approved at a Mar. 3 shareholder meeting.EDITED BY HARRIS COLLINGWOOD


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