Marble Ridge Capital on Wednesday sent a letter to the board of the Neiman Marcus Group demanding that the luxury retailer drop its counterclaims against the investment firm no later than 3 p.m. Central Time on Friday.
Marble Ridge’s letter cites research from the Covenant Review that it contends supports claims about Neiman’s financial condition and raises questions about the transfer of luxury web site Mytheresa.com and other Neiman’s assets, and the retail company’s disclosures regarding such matters.
“The counterclaims filed by Neiman Marcus Group Inc. and related parties against Marble Ridge are meritless and retaliatory, solely meant to intimidate and silence both Marble Ridge and, we believe, other investors from raising legitimate concerns about the financial condition of Neiman Marcus and the actions of the board of directors and its conflicted counsel,” the letter states.
In response to the letter, Neiman’s stated Wednesday, “The company stands by its claims against Marble Ridge.”
In early December, Marble Ridge, a three-year-old firm that invests in distressed debt and one of Neiman’s creditors, filed a lawsuit against Neiman’s in the District Court of Dallas County, Tex., alleging “the fraudulent transfer of the MyTheresa assets to Ares Management and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board for no consideration.”
A few days later, Neiman’s filed counterclaims against Marble Ridge Capital for damages resulting from what the retailer terms “a series of false statements that Marble Ridge has made publicly about the company.” Neiman’s alleged that Marble Ridge falsely accused the company of being in default under its agreements with debt holders and the firm made the statements for improper purposes, including to harm the retailer.
Neiman’s and Marble Ridge are each seeking more than $1 million in monetary damages from the other.
In its letter, Marble Ridge cites a Covenant Review report on Dec. 17, 2018, raising several concerns, including what was Neiman Marcus Group’s interest coverage ratio, pro forma for the transfers of Mytheresa.com and three pieces of real estate. Marble Ridge says the research contends that Neiman’s “has not provided the full picture to investors seeking to understand how the company was able to move the MyTheresa business and the three properties to unrestricted subsidiaries.”