Francesca’s has gotten the green light for a sale that would keep it in business and get it out of bankruptcy.
On Thursday, a Delaware bankruptcy court approved a sale of the retailer to an affiliate of TerraMar Capital LLC and Tiger Capital LLC, which would keep at least 275 stores open, according to the company. Tiger Capital is affiliated with Tiger Finance LLC, a pre-bankruptcy lender, which also provided $25 million in debtor-in-possession financing, according to court filings in the case.
The sale approval followed a bid and auction process, according to the company, which said it expects the sale to close this month, marking its exit then from bankruptcy.
“We are extremely pleased with the interest in Francesca’s during a robust auction process and that TerraMar emerged as the winning bidder,” Andrew Clarke, the retailer’s chief executive officer, who will maintain his role in the newly emerged company, said in a statement this month.
“TerraMar shares our belief in the future of the business, has proven experience in supporting companies like ours through the next phase of growth and is committed to a revitalized Francesca’s,” he said. “The buyer was chosen as the winning bidder based in part on its commitment to the future business and its recognition of the value of our people and our brand.”
“Upon court approval and the final closing of the transaction, we believe Francesca’s will emerge a stronger company poised to drive growth by exploring new brand avenues, expanding our e-commerce channels, and providing our customers with the latest fashion options and treasure hunt experiences they know and love,” he said.
TerraMar Capital’s managing partner Joshua Phillips added that the company is “focused on Francesca’s being a good partner for suppliers, landlords and other key stakeholders going forward.”
Francesca’s had entered into the Chapter 11 process in December with some 558 stores, and tentative goals for a sale involving TerraMar Capital, as marked by a letter of intent at the time for it to be the stalking-horse bidder. The company had previously indicated plans to close some 140 locations.