SHAPIRO NAMED BARNEYS MEDIATOR

NEW YORK--With no objections raised in court Wednesday, Raymond Shapiro officially became mediator in the Barneys Inc. bankruptcy. Also, Barneys got court approval to amend its debtor-in-possession financing agreement and advance up to $250,000 to two possible lenders for due diligence costs.
Shapiro, a bankruptcy attorney from Philadelphia, was appointed by Judge James L. Garrity Jr. to resolve conflicts over the Barneys bidding process and help settle litigation between Barneys and Isetan Co. Ltd. Judge Garrity said he wants the bidding process "put on the front burner."
Barneys received court approval to pay Chase $50,000 in exchange for a reduction in cumulative EBITDA requirements for the DIP financing. The bank waiver was needed so Barneys can get $8 million in letters of credit to insure inventory for its stores. Barneys was granted an average $9 million reduction in its EBITDA requirement for two four-week periods, ended April 5 and May 3.
Meanwhile, Toronto-based Holt Renfrew, which previously denied any strong interest in Barneys, may be more serious about putting in a bid, according to reports. Holt officials could not be reached for comment. Saks Fifth Avenue and Dickson Concepts are the only parties that have placed bids so far. The Neiman Marcus Group and Singapore-based Ong Beng Seng also expressed interest.

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