How The Walking Co. Plans to Emerge From Bankruptcy

The Walking Co. Holdings Inc. said last week that a U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware has approved its Chapter 11 reorganization plan. As as result, the retailer expects to emerge from its restructuring process by the end of June.

The bankruptcy filing, the second for the company in 10 years, includes The Walking Co., Big Dog USA and FootSmart Inc.

“The court’s approval of our plan is the culmination of months of hard work and extensive negotiations among our various stakeholders,” CEO Andrew Feshbach said in a statement. “In the next few weeks, our company will emerge from this process financially stronger and positioned for long-term success.”

A select group of shareholders have committed to invest $10.2 million in new equity into the company — and Wells Fargo Bank will provide “exit” financing. The new funding, in addition to the company’s ongoing cash from operations, will allow the company to move forward.

In the March filing, the company listed the estimated value of its assets between $100 million and $500 million, with its total estimated liabilities at $50 million to $100 million. Li & Fung Ltd. and Dansko Inc. were among the major creditors cited.

In a court declaration, president and CEO Andrew Feshbach addressed the company’s struggle to develop its brand between 2013 and 2017 amid the consumer shift to online spending: “The increasing power of internet retailers made the traditional business of retail stores selling products manufactured by others increasingly difficult, and it also had an increasingly negative impact on customer traffic in shopping malls,” he said.

The Walking Co., however, is not alone in its financial difficulties.

Following the The Rockport Group Co’s., Chapter 11 filing in May, it entered into an asset purchase agreement with CB Marathon Opco LLC, an affiliate of Charlesbank Equity Fund IX LP.

In April, Nine West Holdings Inc. filed for Chapter 11 protection in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

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