UPDATE: July 13, 2020: Retail Ecommerce Ventures LLC will purchase Pier 1 Imports, Inc’s owned intellectual property and other online assets for $31 million, according to court documents, up from its earlier offer of $20 million. The sale is subject to court approval.
The venture beat out private equity firm Sycamore Partners Management, which will serve as the backup bidder, according to a notice filed by Pier 1 after a July 8 bankruptcy auction.
Pier 1 Imports, Inc. on July 1 entered into an agreement with Retail Ecommerce Ventures LLC and Pier 1 Imports Online, Inc. to sell all of its owned intellectual property, data and other e-commerce-related assets to Pier 1 Imports Online. Retail Ecommerce Ventures will serve as guarantor.
Pier 1 sold its IP and related assets for $20,075,000, according to a document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday.
The company said it received other offers and is permitted to consider those bids, including those from an auction scheduled for on or around July 8.
Pier 1 filed for Chapter 11 in February with a plan to sell itself through a court-led sale. But analysts questioned the likelihood of that even before the pandemic rattled the industry.
The company had been working for years to put itself up for sale: CEO and CFO Robert Riesbeck said in earlier court documents that the company hired Credit Suisse Securities in late 2018 to seek out merger and sales proposals, and while that process continued through 2019, it came to an end without any "actionable proposals." This year, the retailer worked alongside investment bank Guggenheim Securities in contacting approximately 95 potential buyers and investors, 35 of which signed nondisclosure agreements around the time the company filed for bankruptcy.
Experts at the time said all options were on the table for Pier 1: It could either be sold as a going concern or piecemeal. But as the pandemic made matters more complicated for Pier 1, the company canceled its bankruptcy auction for its business and assets at the end of March, according to Pier 1 attorneys.
The company in May decided to liquidate stores and wind down its retail operations, which included selling off its IP and e-commerce business. The court in May set an auction date for July 8 and a sale hearing date for July 15.