J.Crew Group Inc. is working through a tough time, dealing with competition from fast-fashion outlets, the Amazon-affect and an overall decline in mall traffic that has led the retailer to post a loss of more than $100 million in its most recent quarter.
And now, as the company takes to adjusting its debt to ease some of its near-term woes, things aren't going any better.
J.Crew said June 12 that a majority of its senior bondholders, including private equity firms Anchorage Capital Group LLC and Blackstone Group LP's (BX) - Get Report GSO Capital Partners LP, have already agreed to support a deal to exchange about half a billion dollars in debt (debt that the company elected not to pay its most recent interest payment on) for new debt.
The deal would help J.Crew move on to a second phase of debt restructuring and also settle a lawsuit that has been lingering over the company since December.
Bloomberg, however, reported Wednesday that the deal hasn't gained much traction with lenders that have been battling J.Crew in court over an intellectual property dispute.
Even if the deal does go through, the company would still be forced to implement further restructuring of its debt, another financial roadblock from newly appointed James Brett, who was hired from William-Sonoma Inc.'s subsidiary West Elm to replace long-time fashion industry executive Millard "Mickey" Drexler.
J.Crew was taken private for $3.1 billion in 2011 by TPG Capital LP and Leonard Green & Partners LP and operates 278 J.Crew retail stores, 117 Madewell stores and 178 factory outlets.
In order to implement the recently announce restructuring out-of-court, J.Crew will need 95% of its bondholders to sign on.
Broadly, the deal would exchange J.Crew's senior bond debt, which stands at $566.5 million and matures in 2019, for new bonds worth less than half as much and due two years later. The group would also receive new stock.
In April, J. Crew announced that it wouldn't make the November interest payment on these bonds. Instead it will elect to pay-in-kind, which will increase the overall balance on the bonds to $590.6 million.
Bondholders that tender by next week would be paid $441.31 worth of new senior secured bonds per $1,000 in principal of old bonds. The new bonds mature in 2021 and bear a 13% interest rate. The group would receive another $335.49 in new series A preferred stock and $30.70 in class A common stock for that $1,000 in old bonds.
The new bonds would be secured the J.Crew subsidiary that currently has a 72% stake in the company's intellectual property. J.Crew transferred those assets last December, upsetting term loan lenders---who have not signed on to this deal, according to Bloomberg, and who have challenged in court the transaction that placed assets worth $250 million out of their reach.
The company is hoping to settle that litigation as part of this deal.
If J.Crew is able to pull off the bond exchange, it would then try to implement a restructuring of its term loan, which is also held in part by the Anchorage-GSO group. The restructuring would refinance some of the $1.5 billion term loan debt and permit lenders to buy up to $97 million of the new bonds at a 3% discount.
As it stands, J.Crew's term loan matures in March 2021 and requires the company to make $3.9 million payments on the last day of January, April, July and October.
The retailer has been looking for ways to deal with its more than $2 billion debt load amid an industry slump. It has failed to turn a profit since the year ended January 2014. Sales fell 3.2% for the year in 2016.
In the most recent quarter, the company reported revenue of $532 million, resulting in a net loss of $122.3 million. During the same period of 2016, revenue was $567.5 million and net losses were $8 million.
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