By  on January 15, 2010

Bath and body soap marketer Crabtree & Evelyn Ltd. plans to emerge from bankruptcy by the end of this month.

The Woodstock, Conn.-based company set the timetable Thursday when a Manhattan bankruptcy court approved its first amended reorganization proposal. After coming out of bankruptcy, the company will close on a $26.3 million exit loan from its parent, Malaysian firm Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad.

As part of its restructuring, the retailer exited 35 retail sites, leaving 91 locations in operation. It also has a new e-commerce platform, crabtree-evelyn.com.

“The bankruptcy process has allowed us to focus on a smaller footprint of retail stores, making each one of them a distinctive experience for our customers,” said Stephen W. Bestwick, acting president. “Crabtree & Evelyn’s successful reorganization is a testament to our outstanding partnerships with our customers, employees, vendors and landlords, and we appreciate their hard work and dedication to the company throughout this process.”

Crabtree filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection last July. In court documents, the firm listed $46.2 million in assets and $47.8 million in liabilities.

Affiliates of the Crabtree & Evelyn Group, including those in Canada, Europe, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia, did not file for bankruptcy court protection. The U.S operation of Crabtree is a subsidiary of U.K. investment holding company Crabtree & Evelyn Holdings Ltd., which owns Crabtree’s foreign trademarks and is not a party to the bankruptcy. The U.K.-based holding company is a subsidiary of CE Holdings, which itself is a subsidiary of KLK Overseas, a unit of the Malaysian parent.

In court papers, the retailer’s revenues were $107.5 million in 2008, down from $112 million in 2007. Operating losses were $8 million in 2008, which grew from a $3.2 million loss in 2007.

Founded in 1972, the company has more than 25 product lines, including LaSource, Gardeners, India Hicks Island Living and Naturals.

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