May 8, 2012
Barneys gets new owner in debt-for-equity deal
May 8, 2012
NEW YORK - Barneys New York Inc has struck a deal with Perry Capital that will significantly reduce the luxury chain's large debt load and turn the hedge fund into its majority owner, Women's Wear Daily reported on Monday.
Under a debt-for-equity swap with Perry Capital, Barneys largest lender, as well as other lenders The Yucaipa Companies and current owner Istithmar World, the chain's long-term debt will fall to $50 million from $590 million, WWD reported, citing Barneys.
Representatives for Barneys or Perry were not immediately available for comment.
Barneys, which operates nine department stores, including a flagship on Manhattan's Madison Avenue and a chain of less expensive co-op stores, said in February it had hired a restructuring firm to help it with debts coming due this year.
The following day, on Feb. 9, Standard & Poor's lowered Barneys' credit rating to 'CC' from 'CCC,' saying its debt level was "unsustainable."
Jones Group Inc sold Barneys for $942 million in 2007 to Istithmar World, the investment arm of state-owned Dubai World. That acquisition left Barneys with a $660 million debt load. (Reporting By Phil Wahba)
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