By  on December 6, 2004

NEW YORK — BCBG Max Azria Group on Friday completed its $53 million bond offering, and at the same time entered into a new $100 million working capital credit facility.

The investment grade bonds are backed via a securitization of BCBG’s trademarks. They were privately placed with an institutional investor and are structured in two tranches, one with an investment grade rating of “AAA” and the other “Baa3” by Moody’s Investor Service. UCC Capital Corp. was the structuring and placement agent for the asset-backed bonds. The working capital facility is provided by GMAC Commercial Finance, as agent, and GE Commercial Finance.

Max Azria, chairman and chief executive office of BCBG, summed up what the new financing arrangement means to his firm in one word: Freedom.

“This will allow us much freedom in our expansion plans. We have a very serious growth plan ahead. We will do it by opening more stores,” he said.

Azria also didn’t rule out the possibility of an acquisition.

The company’s annual volume in 2003 was $240 million, according to the chairman. The projected volume for 2004 is $375 million. “Our company’s volume will grow [by another] 50 percent in 2005 and 40 percent in 2006,” Azria predicted.

The news of a possible bond offering was first reported in these columns in June 2003, and it took over a year to get the deal done.

Robert D’Loren, president and ceo of UCC, explained: “This was a very complicated deal. Unlike others that we’ve done before, this had a very big retail component for a whole company securitization. We worked very closely with BCBG’s asset-based lenders, particularly with GMAC.”

D’Loren added that there were also delays based on Azria needing time to consider every option for his company, which is experiencing “dramatic growth.”

BCBG has a diversified portfolio of brands: BCBG Max Azria Collection; BCBGirls; BCBG//Attitude; To The Max; Parallel; Hervé Léger, and Max Azria Atelier. There are currently 105 BCBG stores in the U.S., and the different BCBG brands are in a total of 5,000 doors in the States. The company has 30 store locations overseas in France, Canada and Japan.As for expansion, Azria foresees around 350 stores in the U.S., but limited growth opportunity overseas.

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