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  • INDUSTRY NEWS

    • On February 25, 2015, it was reported, Serta Simmons Bedding Chief Financial Officer Brian Callahan has resigned to "pursue other interests," the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported. The report said that in the interim, Serta Simmons CEO Gary Fazio will oversee the company's finance functions. The company said it has hired a search firm to find a permanent replacement.
    • On February 24, 2015, it was reported, Sycamore Partners has abandoned its attempt to buy women's clothing retailer Chico's FAS Inc. after failing to line up financing for the deal on acceptable terms, according to a person familiar with the matter. The Wall Street Journal reported two weeks ago the New York buyout firm was in advanced talks to take Chico's private. The Fort Myers, Fla., company had a market capitalization of $2.8 billion based on its closing share price Tuesday of $18.11.
    • On February 24, 2015, it was reported, lingerie retailer Frederick's of Hollywood is reportedly closing at least 31 of its 93 stores as part of a broader re-engineering effort. According to the Wall Street Journal, Great American Group is overseeing liquidation sales at 31 stores, including the flagship location in Los Angeles. The number of stores to be shuttered may rise slightly. Frederick's is working with Consensus Advisors to explore strategic options, although currently the retailer intends to operate its remaining stores and e-commerce site. Consensus has been advising Frederick's since the company took a $24 million loan from Salus Capital Partners in 2012. Frederick's of Hollywood previously filed for bankruptcy in 2000, went public in 2006, and went private again in December 2013. Buyers led by the Harbinger Group took the retailer private in 2013 as part of a deal that valued Frederick's at roughly $11 million. Even then, the company had been struggling to compete with top-selling lingerie brands such as Victoria's Secret, which led to a string of quarterly losses. WSJ notes that the going-private deal did not work out all that well for Harbinger, which recently said it wrote off more than $60 million on the transaction.
    • On February 24, 2015, it was reported, Lifetime Brands has entered into an asset purchase agreement to acquire Reed & Barton, the 190-year-old maker of sterling silver and stainless-steel flatware and giftware that recently filed for bankruptcy protection. Lifetime will be the stalking horse bidder in an auction that will take place roughly in the next 30 days, Lifetime Chairman and CEO Jeff Siegel told HFN. Taunton, Mass.-based Reed & Barton owns Lunt, another venerable sterling manufacturer, and has license agreements with Colonial Williamsburg and designer Thomas O'Brien. Siegel said the status of the licenses is undetermined at this point.