Nine West Holdings Exits Bankruptcy, Renames Itself Premier Brands Group

Nine West Holdings Exits Bankruptcy, Renames Itself Premier Brands Group

Nearly one year after first filing for bankruptcy, Nine West Holdings has emerged from Chapter 11 under new private equity ownership with a new name: Premier Brands Group Holdings.

Premier Brands Group, which positions itself as a jeanswear, women's apparel, accessories and licensing company, will consist of brands including Anne Klein, Gloria Vanderbilt, Kasper, and Napier. The company will focus on growing its licensing and wholesale businesses, moving away from the mall-based retailing model that plagued Nine West before it closed all its brick-and-mortar locations.

When filing for bankruptcy, Nine West Holdings had approximately $1.5 billion in debt, but with the sale of the Nine West and Bandolino businesses to Authentic Brands for $340 million in June 2018, the holding company successfully eliminated $1 billion of red ink from its balance sheet.

The company will have more than $100 million of go-forward liquidity to support its operations and future growth initiatives as a result of syndicated exit financing facilities led by Wells Fargo and Goldman Sachs.

CVC Credit Partners and Brigade Capital now hold majority ownership of Premier Brands Group. Prior to the bankruptcy filing, the former Nine West Holdings was owned by Sycamore Partners.

The bankruptcy process was quite combative: both the Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Trustee for the New York Region filed objections to the plan proposed by Nine West Holdings on Jan. 11, 2019. Additionally, some of Nine West’s bondholders and creditors alleged that Sycamore drained Nine West of its value, asking federal court permission to sue the venture firm for more than $1 billion. Sycamore proposed $115 million to settle allegations, but the bondholders deemed that total insufficient.

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