Jun 14, 2017
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J. Crew Group value halved by debt restructuring deal

Jun 14, 2017

J. Crew Group Inc disclosed terms on Tuesday of a debt restructuring deal that would roughly cut in half the value of its nearly $567 million in bonds, as well as extend their maturity by two years, after receiving the backing of some key creditors.

The fashion retailer requested a deal that would give it more time to turn around its business - Photo: J. Crew

The move comes after it was reported last month that two investment firms, Blackstone Group LP's  GSO Capital Partners LP and Anchorage Capital Group LLC, were snapping up J. Crew's debt to facilitate such a deal.

The U.S. fashion retailer, facing a total debt load of $2.1 billion, asked creditors to agree to an out-of-court restructuring that would extend the maturity on bonds to 2021, which would give J. Crew more time to turn around its business and boost declining sales.

J. Crew has also asked for the withdrawal of a lawsuit seeking to block its move of its intellectual property to an affiliated company. The retailer plans to pay the separate company for the use of its brand, which was opposed by some of the term loan holders, spurring the lawsuit.

GSO and hedge fund Anchorage have already agreed to swap their bonds for the new ones and to end the lawsuit, according to Securities and Exchange Commission documents filed Tuesday and two people familiar with the deal.

The backing of these two creditors is important, because together they hold 28 percent of J. Crew's $1.5 billion term loan and 67 percent of the company's approximately $500 million in bonds, according to the filings and people.

J. Crew requires 95 percent of its bondholders to accept the deal, the company has said, and can also secure a waiver to any lawsuit from a group of creditors that have a majority position in its loan.

GSO and Anchorage however face opposition from another group of creditors led by Eaton Vance Management who have invested in the term loan and plan to block J. Crew's proposed restructuring, one of the people said.

That group is working on having lenders agree to a cooperation agreement to block the deal, that person said, without disclosing the size of the group's position in the debt.

The sources asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential. J. Crew did not immediately respond to a request for comment beyond what it has said publicly. Both GSO and Anchorage declined to comment. Eaton Vance did not immediately return a request for comment.


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