By Lenore Fedow
Barneys New York received $218 million from Brigade Capital Management and B. Riley Financial to keep operations running after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this month. (Photo courtesy of Barneys New York’s Facebook page)

New York—Barneys New York Inc. was given the green light by a New York bankruptcy court judge Wednesday to utilize additional funding needed to keep it afloat while it searches for a buyer.

The retailer filed a motion earlier this month asking for permission to access debtor-in-possession financing, a type of financing extended to companies in distress that is overseen by the lender and subject to court approval.

Barneys initially received an offer of $75 million in debtor-in-possession financing from financial services companies Hilco Global and the Gordon Brothers Group to support its sale process.

But another last-minute offer materialized the day of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. Brigade Capital Management and B. Riley Financial came in with an offer of $218 million in DIP financing.

The court previously had granted interim approval for immediate access to $75 million of the $218 million; the judge’s decision this week gave the retailer access to the remaining amount, $143 million.

Barneys filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Aug. 6 in New York amid soaring costs and declining sales. When it filed, the retailer announced that it would close 15 of its 22 locations, including the Barneys stores in Chicago, Las Vegas and Seattle.

It said it will use the DIP financing to support its operations, including continuing to pay employee wages and benefits as well as honoring customer payments and orders.

The company said in a statement following its filing that trade vendors, manufacturing partners and suppliers would be paid in full on or after the filing date.

Barneys owes unsecured claims totaling seven figures to creditors such as Celine, Yves Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Givenchy, Gucci and Prada, according to court documents.

There were no jewelry brands included on the list of Barneys top 30 creditors, though the retailer is a major seller of fine jewelry and carries some of the most well-known names in the industry.

“This significantly enhanced financing commitment demonstrates the belief of Brigade Capital and B. Riley Financial in the value of the Barneys New York brand and business,” Barneys CEO Daniella Vitale said in a statement following news of the offer.

The capital injection provided Barneys with both more money and more time to find a buyer to save the business.

The retailer has until Oct. 24 to find a buyer and avoid liquidation, according to court documents, about a month-long extension from the previously set deadline of Sept. 25.

If a buyer is found by that date, Barneys must close the sale by Nov. 2, just one week later.

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