New York-based hedge fund Alden Golden Capital LLC has emerged as the successful bidder in a bankruptcy auction for Aerogroup International Inc. — doing business as Aerosoles.
Alden put up a “stalking horse” bid of $26.2 million for the majority of Aerosoles’ assets, which the company accepted on Friday.
According to Aerogroup legal counsel Gregg M. Galardi, of law firm Ropes & Gray LLP, the parties are looking to close the transaction by the end of the week — which would mean that the women’s comfort brand is abandoning its initial restructuring plans.
When it originally filed for Chapter 11 in September, 30-year-old New Jersey-based Aerosoles said it planned to continue to manage its stores and operate its businesses as “debtors in possession” with a goal of emerging from its restructuring efforts in four months.
The company had planned to undergo a “significant reduction in the number of retail stores it operates” — at that time it had about 88 outposts — and “realign the business with the changing marketplace environment.”
Citing dimming mall traffic, a heavy promotional environment and digital shifts, Aerosoles joined a growing list of fashion firms taking the bankruptcy route amid retail disruption. Payless ShoeSource, The Limited, Wet Seal and BCBG were among the fashion companies to seek Chapter 11 protection last year, with Payless emerging in just four months.
Department store Bon-Ton became the first major retailer to add its name to the bankruptcy court docket in 2018.
In its initial bankruptcy filing, Aerosoles listed the estimate value of its assets at $50 million to $100 million with liabilities of $100 million to $500 million.
Alden’s bid is still subject to higher offers.
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