“Like many other apparel and retail companies, BCBG has fallen victim in recent years to adverse macro trends, including a general shift away from brick-and-mortar to online retail channels, a shift in consumer demographics away from branded apparel,” Etlin said.
The company either will sell itself at a court-supervised auction proposed for May. If no acceptable bids come in, management will try to negotiate a debt-for-equity swap with junior lenders owed $289.4 million.
Some lenders have agreed to loan the company $45 million to help it get through bankruptcy. That loan must be approved by the judge in the case. BCBG owes lenders about $459 million.
Guggenheim Partners got involved in 2006 when it arranged a $200 million loan for BCBG. In 2015, Guggenheim affiliates took equity in exchange for reducing debt. Today, Azria and his wife hold only about 20 percent of BCBG’s common shares.
The Vernon, California-based chain once operated more than 570 boutiques worldwide, including more than 175 in the U.S.
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