By  on October 31, 2006

Kuhlman Co. Inc., a specialty retailer of European-inspired apparel for men and women, said Thursday that it retained Manchester Cos. Inc. to help develop a turnaround strategy.

Minneapolis-based Man­chester will serve in the role of "chief restructuring officer," Kuhlman said in a statement.

Charles Walensky, Kuhlman's interim chief financial officer, was named acting chief operating officer. Walensky also is chairman, president and chief executive officer of The WF Group Inc., an investment advisory firm.

Kuhlman's previous cfo, Jon Gangelhoff, resigned on Oct. 3 along with the company's former ceo, Luis Padilla, and Jon Sabes, who had been a member of the audit committee and compensation committee, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Both Padilla and Sabes were directors of Kuhlman.

Manchester is to advise the company on its operations and assist in developing a new financial structure for the retailer.

In addition, Kuhlman received notice from the American Stock Exchange on Sept. 26 that it was not in compliance with certain listing requirements. The company said on Thursday that it will voluntarily be delisted from the Amex and instead trade its shares over-the-counter on the Bulletin Board exchange.

"We are working diligently to put in place a comprehensive plan to assure the long-term viability of the company," Scott Kuhl­man, chairman and ceo, said in a statement. "It is essential that we properly align our financial structure and our strategic direction for both our immediate operating needs as well as for our long-term growth plan. The steps [that we announced] are an important part of our plan, which is intended to enable us to once again pursue the compelling national growth opportunity that exists for our brand and our specialty retail concept."

Kuhlman opened its first retail store in July 2003 and operates 29 units in 15 states and the District of Columbia. It has about 150 employees.

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