Majors

Neiman Marcus to Exit Bankruptcy by Sept. 30

MajorsSep 14, 2020

Neiman Marcus to Exit Bankruptcy by Sept. 30

The retailer is set to emerge from bankruptcy on time in spite of a legal issue surrounding one of its creditors.

The Neiman Marcus store in Hudson Yards. The location is set to close as part of the retailer’s plan to emerge from bankruptcy by fall.

Dallas—Neiman Marcus has received the green light on its reorganization plan and expects to emerge from bankruptcy by Sept. 30.

The plan was approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division.

It’s expected to eliminate more than $4 billion of existing debt and more than $200 million of interest expense, with no near-term maturities.

The retailer will receive a $750 million exit financing package from institutional investors, which will give it additional liquidity and allow it to refinance its debtor-in-possession financing, a type of financing extended to companies in distress that is overseen by the lender and subject to court approval.

The exit loan was given on top of the $900 million asset-based loan—a loan backed by a security asset—from Bank of America and other commercial banks.

The retailer said the financing will be enough to support it through its transformation.

“Neiman Marcus Group is positioned to win thanks to our differentiated and deep customer-associate relationships, the mutual trust of our lenders and brand partners, and our accelerated digital transformation,” said CEO Geoffroy van Raemdonck.

The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May with plans to reorganize and emerge by the fall.

It had been grappling with mounting debt followed by disruptions related to the coronavirus pandemic, including temporary store closures and the furloughing of 14,000 employees.

The retailer has closed seven of its 43 Neiman Marcus locations and 17 of its 22 Last Call discount stores.

Notably, it shuttered its Hudson Yards location, a 188,000-square-foot store in the upscale New York City shopping center.

The retailer is set to exit bankruptcy in-line with its fall time frame despite a legal issue involving one of its creditors.

Dan Kamensky, founder of hedge fund Marble Ridge, was recently arrested by federal prosecutors and charged with securities fraud, wire fraud, extortion and obstruction of justice.

He allegedly pressured a rival bidder to scrap its higher bid for assets connected to the retailer’s bankruptcy so that Marble Ridge could get them at a lower price and then tried to persuade the rival to cover it up.

In a U.S. Department of Justice press release, FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney said: “In a conversation with an employee of the investment bank, Kamensky went as far as to say, ‘Maybe I should go to jail.’ Today, we’ve removed the ‘maybe,’ and forced

him to answer for his conduct.”

In 2018, Kamensky also sued the company in 2018 after it transferred ownership of ecommerce division MyTheresa to a corporate entity controlled by Neiman Marcus’ private equity owners.

He publicly claimed the retailer was insolvent and was attempting to move a valuable asset out of the hands of its lenders in the event of bankruptcy.

Lenore Fedowis the associate editor, news at National Jeweler, covering the retail beat and the business side of jewelry.
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