Wells Fargo might be more amenable to the stalking horse bid by Emerisque for bankrupt Hartmarx Corp. now that the British private equity firm has raised its offer, according to sources.
A hearing for the stalking horse bid took place Monday and was scheduled to continue today. Sources present at the hearing said Wells Fargo, the lead agent for the banking group that has provided financing of more than $114 million to Hartmarx, is moving closer to an agreement to court approval of Emerisque as the stalking horse. The stalking horse establishes a baseline in a court-approved auction for better offers.
Emerisque, along with SKNL North America, had an offer of $119 million on the table, including the assumption of liabilities. Wells Fargo on Friday objected to the Emerisque bid on grounds ranging from inadequate financing to the bidder’s lack of commitment to Hartmarx employees. Emerisque in turn sharply rebuked the objection, stating that the bank group was just seeking a higher bid and reaffirming its intention to keep production jobs in the U.S., a concern of union officials and lawmakers who have been applying increasing pressure on Wells Fargo to allow the sale of the company and not press for a liquidation.
Although sources said late Monday that Emerisque had raised its bid, the revised amount couldn’t be learned at press time. The expectation is that it was the cash component of the offer, originally $70.5 million, that was increased.
A spokeswoman for Wells Fargo declined comment late Monday.
Meanwhile, Edgar Romney, president of Workers United, the union that represents Hartmarx’s workers governed under collective bargaining agreements, on Friday sent a letter to the bankruptcy court judge overseeing the case in support of the bid by Emerisque. The union in addition sent members to stage a rally outside the courthouse on Monday in support of the bid.
Hartmarx filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Chicago in January.
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion