Nine West Holdings on Wednesday announced that, with certain of its affiliates, it has successfully completed its financial and operational restructuring and emerged from Chapter 11 under the majority equity ownership of private equity firm CVC Credit Partners and investment advisory firm Brigade Capital.
The company has been renamed Premier Brands Group Holdings LLC, or "Premier Brands Group," according to a company press release. The namesake Nine West brand itself, along with the Bandolino footwear brand that was also part of the Nine West Holdings stable, were sold in a July bankruptcy auction to Authentic Brands Group for $340 million.
The company embarks on the new chapter having reduced pre-bankruptcy debt obligations by more than $1 billion and completed an operational restructuring following the Nine West and Bandolino sale, Premier Brands Group CEO Ralph Schipani said in a statement. The company also now has "over $100 million of go-forward liquidity to support its operations and future growth initiatives, as a result of successfully syndicated exit financing facilities led by Wells Fargo and Goldman Sachs," according to the release.
After a contentious bankruptcy process that had bondholders sparring with private equity firm Sycamore Partners over allegations that the company had drained Nine West of value, as well as filings from the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the U.S. Trustee for the New York Region objecting to the bankruptcy plan, the new apparel group has completed its Chapter 11 restructuring.
It's not free and clear of private equity ownership, however, and it remains to be seen how the newly renamed company will fare under a system that often favors investors over the needs of brand building and turnaround efforts.
In his statement, Schipani made it clear that the company aims to take full advantage of the remaining brands' equity. "We committed at the beginning of this process to emerge with the financial foundation necessary to continue the growth trajectories of our One Jeanswear Group, The Jewelry Group, Kasper Group and Anne Klein businesses—and we are pleased to have accomplished that goal," he said. "We have terrific platforms and an intense focus on leveraging their potential, including through new brand licenses and new domestic and international partnerships."