N. Chesterfield, VA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 07/23/2020 --Ascena Retail Group, Inc., the owner of Ann Taylor and other clothing brands ("Ascena"), has filed for bankruptcy seeking to restructure its debt under chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code as the retailer suffers amid flagging sales due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bankruptcy petitions were filed by Ascena and 63 affiliated debtors. The COVID-19 pandemic sales slump only exacerbated Ascena's woes related to its heavy debt burden. Ascena filed for bankruptcy on July 23, 2020 in the Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond Division.
Ascena announced that it has entered into a restructuring support agreement ("RSA") with over 68% of its secured term lenders. The RSA contemplates agreed-upon terms for a pre-arranged financial restructuring plan (the "Plan") that is expected to significantly reduce Ascena's debt by approximately $1 billion and provide increased financial flexibility.
As part of the balance sheet restructuring contemplated by the RSA, Ascena will reduce its footprint with the closing of a significant number of Justice stores and a select number of Ann Taylor, LOFT, Lane Bryant and Lou & Grey stores. This includes the exit of all stores across brands in Canada, Puerto Rico and Mexico and the closure of all Catherines stores.
In addition, Ascena has entered into an asset purchase agreement with City Chic Collective Limited to sell the Catherines intellectual property assets and to transition its e-commerce business to a subsidiary of City Chic Collective.
Ascena has received commitments for $150 million in a new money term loan from its existing lenders. The new money term loan will be available during the pendency of the proceedings and will remain in place post emergence from Chapter 11.
Ascena's bankruptcy cases are being jointly administered under its chapter 11 case identified as Ascena Retail Group, Inc., case numbered 20-33113. Proposed counsel for Ascena are the law firms of Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Cooley LLP. Prime Clerk is proposed to serve as the noticing and claims agent.
Ronald Page (http://rpagelaw.com) is a corporate bankruptcy attorney based in Richmond, Virginia. Ronald Page, PLC has extensive experience representing secured and unsecured creditors in bankruptcy proceedings. Please contact Ronald Page, a Richmond Virginia Bankruptcy Attorney (http://rpagelaw.com/), if you need assistance protecting your interests in Ascena's bankruptcy.
Ronald Page, PLC
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