bankruptcies are hailing down on the US economy with increasing intensity. Here are a few standouts in 2016 and 2015. Note the PE firms behind many of them:
April 16, 2016: Vestis Retail Group, the operator of sporting goods retailers Eastern Mountain Sports (camping, hiking, skiing, adventure sports), Bob’s Stores (family clothing and shoes), and Sport Chalet (general sporting goods), filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It will close all 56 stores and stop online sales.
In the filing, it blamed the going-out-of-business sales at “certain Sports Authority locations,” plus the weather, which had been too warm, and trouble with switching to a new software platform. It’s owned by private equity firm Versa Capital Management LLC.
April 7, 2016: Pacific Sunwear of California, clothing retailer with nearly 600 stores and derailed ambitions of skate-and-surf cool, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. PE firm Golden Gate Capital, a lender to the company, agreed to convert over 65% of its loan into equity of the reorganized company and add another $20 million in financing. Wells Fargo agreed to provide $100 million of debtor-in-possession financing.
March 2, 2016: Sports Authority filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It said it would close 140 of its 450 stores, including all stores in Texas. In 2006, it had been taken over in a leveraged buyout by a group of PE firms led by Leonard Green & Partners [Another Private-Equity LBO Queen Bites the Dust].
February 2, 2016: Hancock Fabrics filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, for the second time. It closed 70 of its retail sewing and crafting stores. Its inventories are being liquidated with going-out-of-business sales at the remaining 185 stores.
January 16, 2015: Wet Seal, teen fashion retailer, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
October 2015: American Apparel filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, after years of all sorts of sordid turmoil – and losses since 2009.
In 2014, hedge fund Standard General entered into a deal with the company’s “controversial” founder and former CEO Dov Charney. The deal raised his stake to 43% but gave the hedge fund a big block of the shares as collateral. The hedge fund and some other investors also own a big part of American Apparel bonds and thus control the bankruptcy negotiations. The hedge fund expects to emerge owning about a quarter of the restructured company’s debt and about 5% of its new equity.
September, 2015: Quiksilver, surfwear retailer, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In January, 2016, it emerged from bankruptcy and is now controlled by PE firm Oaktree Capital.
June, 2015: Anna’s Linens filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
April 2015: Frederick’s of Hollywood filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
February 2015: RadioShack filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In May 2015, Standard General took control of it in a bankruptcy auction.
February 2015: Cache Inc., women’s dress and formal-wear retailer, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
January 2015: Body Central Corp, women’s clothing retailer, after announcing it was exploring a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, ended up not filing, but closed its 265 stores under a Florida process called “an assignment for the benefit of creditors.”
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