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Talbots Finalizes Credit Deal

Women's specialty retailer The Talbots Inc. on Friday said it completed the terms of its previously announced $50 million credit facility with Aeon Inc.

Women’s specialty retailer The Talbots Inc. on Friday said it completed the terms of its previously announced $50 million credit facility with Aeon Inc.

This story first appeared in the July 21, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The new facility with Aeon, a wholly owned subsidiary of Talbots’ majority shareholder, Aeon Co. Ltd., supplements the retailer’s existing working capital lines of credit of $165 million and brings its total working capital borrowing capacity to $215 million. The facility matures on Jan. 28, 2012.

“While we believe we had suffi cient liquidity to fund our turnaround, this facility represents added assurance and provides us with greater fl exibility as we continue with the implementation of our turnaround plan,” chief financial officer and senior vice president Edward Larsen said on Friday at Oppenheimer & Co.’s Consumer Growth Conference in Boston.

Trudy Sullivan, president and chief executive officer, has been working to streamline the brand. “This year is a pivotal point in our turnaround as it represents the first year of a three-year plan to reinvigorate our heritage Talbot’s brand and push J. Jill further,” Sullivan said at the Oppenheimer conference.

In April, Talbot’s stock price dropped when it disclosed that Bank of America and HSBC were pulling their letters of credit.

The retailer said producers of roughly three-fourths of its purchases abroad had agreed to “open-account” terms, giving the store 45 days to make payments.

Earlier this month, Talbots said it would reduce its corporate head count by about 9 percent, producing roughly $14 million in annual savings. The move eliminates a total of 129 positions.

Talbots posted a 69 percent decline in fi rst-quarter earnings, hurt by its kids’, men’s and U.K. noncore businesses, as well as restructuring costs.

For the three months ended May 3, earnings fell to $1.6 million, or 3 cents a diluted share, from $5.2 million, or 10 cents, in the year-ago period.