Claire’s Inc. on Tuesday withdrew its plans for an initial public offering.
The specialty chain specializing in affordable jewelry and accessories for teens and tweens initially filed for an IPO in May 2013. At the time, its plans were to raise $100 million through the offering. Claire’s is owned by Apollo Management, which acquired the business in May 2007 in a $3.1 billion leverage buyout. It operates its core Claire’s stores in 41 countries, as well as its Icing concept, which targets an older consumer between ages 18 to 35, with a sweet spot at the core 21-to-25-year-old customer.
In the filing Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said the reason for the withdrawal was because “it has decided not to proceed with the offering at this time.”
At the time the original registration statement was filed, the company listed net income of $6.2 million on net sales of $1.56 billion for the year ended Feb. 2, 2013. The company ended the year with a total of 3,477 stores globally, comprised of 3,085 company-owned stores in North America, Europe and China and 392 franchise stores.
But the 2007 LBO also left Claire’s with about $2.5 billion in debt on its hands.
In May 2016, credit analysts at Moody’s Investors Service in their report on firms with increased refinancing risk due to unsustainable capital structures, called out Claire’s as one of the companies on their watch list. At the time, Moody’s said Claire’s was rated “Caa2 stable,” but made the list because the threshold for refinance risk were retailers with a credit rating of “B3 negative and below.”
Moody’s said Claire’s faced difficult mall traffic trends and economic headwinds in Europe, but might be able to counter that through a shift to “off-mall,” expansion of its concession format and e-commerce growth.
Last fall, Claire’s completed a bond swap with bondholders, and then got HSBC Bank Plc to adjust its European credit facility to get some much-needed financial breathing room.
And while Claire’s financial issues could make it difficult to attract investor interest during an IPO roadshow, IPO research and tracking firm Renaissance Capital said the U.S. IPO market has been in a recession that began in August 2015 through 2016. Earlier this month, luxury retailer Neiman Marcus also decided to withdraw its IPO plans.