Saturday, 19 September 2020

Centric Brands to emerge from bankruptcy in October




NYC-based brand licensing group Centric Brands Inc., which made a Chapter 11 filing in May, has received approval for its reorganization plan from the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York and expects to emerge from bankruptcy by the end of October.

Centric owns the Zac Posen, Hudson, Robert Graham, Swims and Avirex brands, as well as a substantial license portfolio including the likes of Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Under Armour, Kate Spade, Hervé Léger and Michael Kors.

In accordance with the terms of the reorganization plan, the company will emerge as a private company owned by its current lenders under the leadership of Blackstone, Ares Management , and HPS Investment Partners.

The company anticipates substantially reducing its funded second lien indebtedness in order to successfully position its business for future growth. Blackstone will exchange its second lien debt for equity interests in the reorganized Centric, while Ares and HPS will retain their senior loan positions and receive equity interests in the company.

Centric also expects to secure new exit financing in the form of a securitization facility, along with new revolving and term loan facilities from its current secured lenders.

“Today’s announcement represents a critical moment in our journey to emerge as an even stronger company, poised for long-term growth,” said Centric Brands CEO Jason Rabin in a release. “I am truly grateful to our dedicated employees for their hard work throughout this process and the Covid-19 pandemic. I’m also appreciative of the continued support of our brand licensors, retailers, sourcing network and lenders, which has allowed us to reach this milestone.”

“We continue to execute against our strategy while maintaining our valued, long-standing relationships with our business partners,” he added. “With a strengthened financial position, I am excited about our strong future ahead.”

Centric was one of a number of companies to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this year due to the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, including department store operators Neiman Marcus Group and J.C. Penney Co., as well as fashion retailer J. Crew Group.

In April, the company had already attempted to combat the negative effects of the health crisis by furloughing some 1,346 associates and permanently laying off 600.

Even before the pandemic, Centric was burdened by a significant debt load. The company began bankruptcy proceedings with some $1.7 billion in funded debt, including term loans, revolvers, and notes.

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