NEW YORK — Tropical Sportswear International’s long struggle to survive came to an end Thursday while ushering in a new era in the life of the rapidly expanding Perry Ellis International Inc.
Miami-based PEI agreed to purchase the assets of Tampa-based Tropical for approximately $85 million following a Chapter 11 filing by Tropical in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida. The acquisition is subject to numerous conditions, including bankruptcy court approval, and the purchase price, funded by PEI’s senior credit facility, is subject to adjustment based on inventory and accounts receivable evaluations.
However, if it goes through as scheduled next February, it will immediately and dramatically increase PEI’s presence in the bottoms business. In a conference call to discuss the transaction, George Feldenkreis, chairman and chief executive officer of PEI, estimated it would lift the percentage of the company’s sales attributable to bottoms to 40 percent from its current level of about 20 percent.
According to documents filed with the bankruptcy court, TSI had assets totaling $26.2 million and a secured debt load of $338,081 as of Dec. 15. The company listed SunTrust as the largest holder of an unsecured debt claim at $105.5 million. According to the filing, the company estimates it will have the funds to distribute to unsecured creditors.
According to a statement from TSI, a new $50 million debtor-in-possession credit facility has been granted by the CIT Group and Fleet Capital, allowing the company to continue operations while completing the sale. The company also said it has hired turnaround specialist firm Alvarez & Marsal as a financial adviser.
Even with its DIP facility, the Tropical filing most likely brings to an end a struggle to stay in business despite a series of challenges going back more than two years. Despite persistent efforts by its management, the firm never regained its footing after the dismissal of former ceo Bill Compton and incurred net losses of $131.5 million in its last full fiscal year. Various asset sales had failed to reverse the trend. Even with losses mounting and volume declining, the firm was still believed to be the third-largest maker of casual slacks in the U.S., behind only Levi Strauss & Co.’s Dockers unit and Haggar Corp.Oscar Feldenkreis, president and chief operating officer, said on the call, “This strategic move is a critical response to the current environment of the retailing mergers and acquisitions.”
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye
Did you know: @carlychaikin of "Mr. Robot" has been painting for about a decade? The actress, who plays Darlene on the show, is a self-taught artist who lists Salvador Dalí and Chuck Close as some of her idols. Chaikin told WWD that painting is a form of meditation for her — A much-needed one given the intensity of "Mr. Robot." See a piece Chaikin is working on at WWD.com (📷: @jilliansollazzo) #wwdeye