Bryshere Y. Gray in True Religion's "This Is True" Campaign

Premium denim brand True Religion Apparel Inc. has filed a voluntary petition for Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection. The filing was made Wednesday in a Delaware bankruptcy court.

Based in Manhattan Beach, Calif., the denim brand estimated assets and liabilities each at between $100 million to $500 million. Among the top 30 unsecured creditors listed, the holders of the claims were either trade providers or landlords. The top trade claim was from the Lya Group in Los Angeles, at $826,520; the top landlord claim was 513 Broadway Realty LLC in New York, at $376,315.

True Religion had been on the watch list of some credit ratings agencies, which cited its high debt levels as a pressure on its balance sheet.

The company in May 2013 agreed to be acquired by TowerBrook Capital Partners for $835 million, or $32 a share in cash for all of the company’s outstanding shares. That represented a premium of 52 percent to the denim firm’s share price on Oct. 9, 2012, before it had begun evaluating strategic alternatives.

TowerBrook’s investments in consumer retail also include Jimmy Choo, Odlo, Kaporal, BevMo! and Phase Eight. The private equity firm also acquired women’s specialty chain J. Jill, which completed its initial public offering earlier this year. TowerBrook sold Jimmy Choo to JAB Holding, which has decided to exit the fashion and luxury business altogether and is trying to find buyers for its Jimmy Choo and Bally brands.

True Religion’s filing follows the long list of retailers and brands that have filed for bankruptcy court protection this year. Those filings have included: Papaya Clothing; Gymboree; Rue21; Gordmans; Gander Mountain; The Limited; American Apparel, and BCBG Max Azria.

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