US-based drugstore chain Rite Aid has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings to implement financial restructuring amid opioid-related lawsuits against it.

In a court filing with the US Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey, the retailer listed both assets and liabilities in the range of $1bn to $10bn.

As part of the restructuring process, the company received a commitment of $3.45bn from some of its lenders, which it says would reduce its debt and increase financial flexibility.

In addition, Rite Aid is evaluating the performance of its store portfolio and will close more underperforming stores.

The move is expected to strengthen its overall financial performance by cutting rent expenses.

In a separate development, Rite Aid appointed Jeffrey Stein as chief executive officer, chief restructuring officer and a member of the company’s Board of Directors, effective immediately.

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Stein said: “Rite Aid has served customers and communities across our country for more than 60 years and the important actions we are taking today will enable us to move ahead as a stronger company.

“With the support of our lenders, we look forward to strengthening our financial foundation, advancing our transformation initiatives and accelerating the execution of our turnaround strategy. In doing so, we will be even better able to deliver the healthcare products and services our customers and their families rely on – now and into the future.”

The announcement for bankruptcy protection comes as the retailer battles with opioid-related lawsuits.

In March this year, the US Department of Justice accused Rite Aid and a number of its subsidiaries of filling unlawful prescriptions for controlled substances, including opioids.

Rite Aid, which is based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, offers healthcare products and services across its retail and online platforms.

The retailer operates more than 2,100 retail pharmacy locations across 17 US states.

Last month, Rite Aid proposed to close approximately 400 to 500 stores in bankruptcy.