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    • On March 19, 2018, it was reported, teen retailer Claire's Stores filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday. CEO Ron Marshall said in a press release that the company, at the end of the court process, would be a "healthier, more profitable company, which will position us to be an even stronger business partner for our suppliers, concessions partners, and franchisees." The retailer went into court with a restructuring plan agreed to by a group of its largest lenders, led by Elliott Management Corporation and Monarch Alternative Capital. Under the plan, Claire's would reduce its overall indebtedness by $1.9 billion, the company said. Claire's did not say in the release if it would close its own retail locations but did note that it plans to increase its concessions business, where it sells branded products at other retailers, by some 4,000 locations this year. The lender group will provide debtor-in-possession financing and new capital to carry Claire's through bankruptcy. That includes $75 million asset-based lending facility, a new $250 million first lien term loan and a $250 million preferred equity investment, according to the release. Claire's said it expects to complete the Chapter 11 process by September and would exit with $150 million in liquidity. On March 09, 2018, it was reported, teen retailer Claire's is preparing to file for bankruptcy in the coming weeks, Bloomberg reported. The company did not immediately reply to requests for comment from Retail Dive. The retailer is nearing a deal wherein its lenders, including Elliott Capital Management and Monarch Alternative Capital, would take over the company in Chapter 11, according to Bloomberg, which cited unnamed sources familiar with the plan. Private equity firm Apollo Global Management has owned Claire's since its leveraged buyout of the retailer last decade. The plan would deliver some much-needed debt relief for Claire's, Bloomberg noted.
    • On March 19, 2018, Authentic Brands Group said it will acquire Nautica from VF Corporation for an undisclosed amount. The deal is expected to close in the first half of the year, subject to standard customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, according to a company press release emailed to Retail Dive. VF last month had said it was looking for a buyer for the sporty brand. ABG will take on Nautica's brand marketing and licensing functions, the company said. Other aspects of the operation will move into Aero OpCo, the operating partner for Aropostale, which will assume the role of Nautica's core licensee and operating partner, managing the brand's wholesale, 70-plus U.S. retail stores, e-commerce, product development and other functions, according to the release. This is ABG's largest brand acquisition to date and will expand its portfolio to nearly $7 billion in global retail sales, the company said. The deal is also yet another step in VF's recent effort to right-size its portfolio.
    • On March 15, 2018, it was reported, the next few weeks could determine the ultimate fate of Bon-Ton stores. When the department store retailer filed for Chapter 11 early in February, it had no clear path out of bankruptcy. Or rather, it had a few. The company said after filing that it would try to draw a buyer, while also planning to close more than 40 stores and pursue a reorganization. Meanwhile, the retailer has been flanked in court by a group of bondholders that have been clamoring for asset liquidation to pay off lenders. On Monday, Bon-Ton went to court to establish the rules for an auction of its business and assets. Whether a bid comes one that that satisfies the court and the most powerful among Bon-Ton's stakeholders could determine if Bon-Ton survives as an ongoing concern or is forced into liquidation, like so many bankrupt retailers before it. If that happens, Bon-Ton would be the first department store chain to fully liquidate in years, according to S&P Global. At the hearing, the federal bankruptcy court in Delaware overseeing Bon-Ton's bankruptcy signed off on the proposed process to sell Bon-Ton's business and assets. The plan sets a March 19 deadline to designate a stalking horse bid (an initial bid negotiated by the bankrupt company) and an April 9 date for the auction of Bon-Ton.
    • On March 14, 2018, it was reported by the Wall Street Journal, that Toys "R" Us told employees today that it will sell or close all of its U.S. stores. The company plans to file liquidation papers tonight in advance of tomorrow's bankruptcy court hearing. The closures will affect 33,000 American jobs. In a conference call, Chief Executive Dave Brandon told employees that the company was likely to liquidate in France, Spain, Poland, and Australia. It plans to sell its operations in Canada, Central Europe, and Asia. The company is also trying to package its Canadian business with 200 U.S. stores and find a buyer, the CEO said, according to the report. In January, the company announced plans to close up to 182 Babies "R" Us and Toys "R" Us locations. Last week, the company prepared to liquidate. Earlier today, MGA Entertainment made a bid for the Toys "R" Us Canada operations, a spokesperson for the company confirmed. A group of toy companies MGA is looking into organizing may also perform due diligence on Toys "R" Us in the U.S., according to a report from Bloomberg. On March 09, 2018, multiple news organizations have reported that Toys R Us is preparing to liquidate all of its U.S. stores after it failed to reach an agreement to restructure its business in Chapter 11. A Toys R Us spokesperson said in an email to Retail Dive, "At this time we do not have a comment to share." CNBC, citing unnamed sources, reported on Thursday that the ailing, bankrupt toy seller "may soon liquidate its U.S. operations." But, the news service noted, one of its sources cautioned "that the situation remains fluid." Additionally, The Wall Street Journal reported that the retailer could close all its domestic stores. Bloomberg also reported that the company could shutter its U.S. operations after "failing to find a buyer or reach a debt restructuring deal with lenders." Debtwire also reported Thursday afternoon that the company is considering the sale or liquidation of some domestic entities as the company comes under pressure to liquidate from some lenders. The announcements follow much speculation within and outside the company that it might not survive its Chapter 11 case as a going concern, or at the very least might close far more stores than the 180 initially announced earlier this year. CNBC reported in February that Toys R Us was at risk of breaching a covenant in its bankruptcy loan, which carried the potential to force the business to liquidate.