Published: Tue, March 20, 2018
Science | By Cecil Little

Retailer behind Claire's Accessories files for USA bankruptcy

Retailer behind Claire's Accessories files for USA bankruptcy

Jewelry and accessory chain Claire's, a staple of malls across the country, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Its worldwide subsidiaries are not part of the Chapter 11 filing.

Claire's, the mall chain that has pierced the ears of millions of teens, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the USA but its Canadian and European stores are not involved.

Claire's has been struggling with a heavy debt load that left it with fewer options in dealing with online competition. The Company expects its concessions business to grow by more than 4,000 stores in 2018. Typically retailers use the Chapter 11 filing to announce closings.

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Claire's agreed to a restructuring plan with a group of creditors led by Elliott Managementand Monarch Alternative Capital, according to a statement Monday.

"Unlike other retailers that have come before it, Claire's has commenced its restructuring process from a position of unique operational strength", the retailer, which has been saddled with debt stemming from a private equity buyout in 2007, wrote in a release.

Court documents and additional information are available on the website administered by the Company's claims and noticing agent, Prime Clerk LLC. The company also landed $135 million in financing from Citi to get through the bankruptcy process.

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Privately-held Claire's says it expects to emerge from bankruptcy in September.

According to Monday's press release, the company plans to pursue a financial restructuring to a eliminate a "substantial portion of debt" from its balance sheet. "We will complete this process as a healthier, more profitable company". The company had originally hoped to restructure and continue operations.

The Ad Hoc First Lien Group is represented by Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP and Millstein & Co.

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