By  on April 14, 2009

Efrem Gerszberg is racing against a Friday deadline in his bid to buy Hampshire Group Ltd.

Gerszberg’s NAF Holdings was unable to acquire the 82 percent of Hampshire’s outstanding shares required to seal the deal by March 31, and the offer has been extended to April 17. In its April 1 extension announcement, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, NAF Holdings said it had acquired about 3.7 million, or more than two-thirds, of the 5.5 million shares outstanding.

In February, the board of the sweater and sportswear supplier approved NAF’s plan to acquire the company at $5.55 a share, for a minimum total purchase price of about $24.9 million, about a 200 percent premium on the stock at the time of the offer.

In 2008, Hampshire recorded a loss of $29.9 million on a 6.3 percent drop in sales to $240.9 million.

Hampshire warned in SEC filings that, with its results for the year, it is in violation of a covenant of its $125 million revolving credit facility with HSBC and other lenders. The company’s noncompliance caused its independent accounting firm to issue an opinion that called into question its ability to make good on its financial commitments in 2009 and ultimately continue as a going concern.

Hampshire said it is in talks with lenders to waive or amend the fixed charge ratio covenant.

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