Retail Ecommerce Ventures LLC, which purchased the brand assets of Dressbarn from Ascena Retail Group in 2019, has offered $20 million for the intellectual property and e-Commerce business assets of Pier 1 Imports.
Pier 1, which operated approximately 940 stores at the beginning of 2020, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February. In May the retailer announced plans to liquidate its brick-and-mortar store holdings after abandoning efforts to emerge from bankruptcy as a viable business.
The Retail Ecommerce Ventures offer is a “stalking horse” bid, meaning Pier 1 would be free to accept a higher or better offer if one was available. The retailer plans to hold an asset auction on July 8, according to SEC filings, and a hearing is scheduled for July 30 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Richmond, Va.
Proceeds from the potential sale would go to Pier 1’s senior lenders. Erika Morabito, a lawyer at Foley & Lardner LLP, which represents the committee for the retailer’s unsecured creditors, told The Wall Street Journal that “From the [committee’s] perspective, we want as much money as possible to flow through the waterfall to be paid to those who are able to participate in such recovery.”
Retail Ecommerce Ventures, which has created Pier 1 Imports Online as an acquisition vehicle for the retailer, is owned by Taino “Tai” Lopez and Alex Mehr. Lopez is Co-Founder of book-shipping club MentorBox LLC and President of Tai Lopez Capital Group, which invests in distressed assets. Mehr is chief executive of MentorBox, and last year sold the online dating platform Zoosk in a deal valued at approximately $258 million.