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One of Valvoline's largest instant oil change franchises, Great Lakes Quick Lube LLP, is filing bankruptcy after the franchisee has struggled to make profits since starting the business in 2004.
The company declared $10 million to $50 million in debt, with assets of $1 million to $10 million. Great Lakes once had 107 oil-change outlets. Since last June, however, it has closed 43, leaving it with 64 stores. Nearly half those are in Wisconsin, mostly in metropolitan Milwaukee. Great Lakes also has lube shops in Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Missouri and Kentucky. The company employs 438 people. Great Lakes believes it will be profitable after restructuring its finances through bankruptcy, according to a motion included in the company's filing ... It says the company has "struggled with profitability" from the beginning. Nonetheless, Great Lakes continued to buy more Valvoline outlets, according to the motion. - Wisconsin's Journal Sentinel