BIDERMANN PLAN WOULD PAY UNSECURED CREDITORS 100%

Byline: Thomas J. Ryan

NEW YORK — Bidermann Industries USA Inc. has filed a reorganization plan that pays unsecured trade creditors 100 cents on the dollar in cash.
Under the reorganization plan, filed late last week in Manhattan Bankruptcy Court, holders of notes would take control of the hosiery and men’s wear manufacturer by swapping their debt for equity. These notes are primarily held by Merrill Lynch, Donaldson Lufkin Jenrette Inc. and Angelo Gordon & Co.
Bryan Marsal, who has been interim ceo since September 1995, will continue at the company until a successor is found. Marsal is principal of the turnaround firm, Alverez & Marsal.
The plan was chosen by Blackstone Group over a competing plan to acquire the firm for $280 million by a group led by Vestar Capital Partners, according to Marsal.
As reported, Blackstone was hired in February after Manhattan Bankruptcy Judge Tina L. Brozman in December rejected the $233 million buyout plan backed by Vestar, charging the deal was laden with self interest and shut out other potential buyers. That plan would have paid unsecured creditors about 75 cents on the dollar.
The new plan was approved by the committees representing unsecured creditors and institutional bondholders, but it still needs the approval of bankruptcy court and final approval from the required majority of all creditors.
Bidermann, through Cluett Peabody and Great American Knitting Mills, manufactures men’s wear under the Arrow and licensed Yves Saint Laurent and Burberrys names, and hosiery under Gold Toe, Silver Toe and Arrow trademarks, as well as licensed Perry Ellis, Nautica, Joe Boxer and Jockey names. It also operates about 30 outlet stores.

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