Vince New York Retail

Vince Holding Corp., in a development bolstering turnaround efforts, has received a commitment letter from its principal shareholder Sun Capital Partners that provides the company with an amount equal to $30 million of cash proceeds if the brand conducts a rights offering of common stock to stockholders.

“We are pleased to have received this rights offering commitment letter from Sun Capital and appreciate their continued support,” said Brendan Hoffman, chief executive officer of Vince Holdings Corp. The letter was received Thursday.

“The proceeds from a potential offering would enhance our liquidity position and provide additional cash for operations, enabling us to continue executing our strategic plan,” Hoffman explained.

The company will provide further details if and when the rights offering, which gives existing shareholders the right to buy additional shares in proportion to their existing holdings, commences.

Sun, while committed to buying 58 percent of the offering, said it also would buy the entire $30 million if need be.

The agreement with Sun should ease some worries about Vince, which flared up in April when the company warned of its going concern prospects and released its fourth-quarter results. Vince posted fourth-quarter net sales of $63.9 million, a drop of 21.9 percent, and a net loss of $162.1 million.

At the time, Hoffman acknowledged the results were “below expectations” but pointed to a change in company systems after separating from its former parent, the Sun Capital-controlled Kellwood, which took the company public in 2013.

The warning and results triggered a sharp drop in Vince’s stock price, and on Wednesday, the company received a written notice from the New York Stock Exchange that it was not satisfying requirements that the 30-trading day average closing stock price not drop below $1 a share, that the 30-trading day average market capitalization be at least $50 million, and that stockholders’ equity be at least $50 million.

As of Wednesday, the 30-trading day average closing stock price was 95 cents, the 30-trading day average market capitalization was about $47.2 million, and there was a stockholders’ deficit as of January 28 of about negative $13.9 million. However, the rights offering commitment from Sun Capital should renew confidence, lift the stock performance and “cure” the deficiencies. The company must bring its share price and 30-day trading average share price above $1 by November 17, representing a six-month cure period.

Vince also said that by July 1 it must send to the NYSE a business plan that demonstrates compliance with the stock performance requirements. The NYSE will review the business plan.

Earlier this month, Vince named Caroline Belhumeur senior vice president and creative director and Marie Fogel head of all merchandising and product development, in a restructuring of the team at the contemporary brand’s Los Angeles design studio. In February, Hoffman told WWD that there was progress resetting the collection back to its original design aesthetic and quality level, and to being less dependent on basics, though the financial results had yet to reflect that.

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