VICTORIA CREATIONS SAID TO HAVE SUITORS

Byline: Wendy Hessen and Jeff Siegel

NEW YORK — Costume jewelry firm Victoria Creations, which, along with its parent, United Merchants & Manufacturers, has been in Chapter 11 since Feb. 23, may have some suitors.
Industry sources said Friday The Monet Group — maker of the Monet, Trifari and Marvella costume jewelry lines — and Bob Andreoli, Victoria’s original owner, have expressed interest in acquiring Victoria Creations’ assets. Neither Judy Harrison, Monet’s president and chief executive officer, nor Pat Stensrud, president of Victoria Creations, returned calls.
Uzi Ruskin, chief executive officer of both UM&M and Victoria Creations Inc., could not be reached for comment.
Earlier in the week, however, Ruskin discussed the progress of Victoria Creations’ Chapter 11 in a telephone interview and charged that Foothill Capital Corp. was trying to block the firm from obtaining badly needed financing.
Ruskin said Victoria Creations wants to use the proceeds from accounts receivable to finance its operations, but has been stymied by Foothill, which holds an $18 million secured claim against Victoria.
Foothill “has not missed an opportunity to object” to Victoria’s attempt to secure financing, Ruskin said. He said it is “not clear” to him what Foothill hopes to accomplish.
Foothill officials did not return a call seeking comment.
As reported, Victoria Creations was forced to file for bankruptcy protection after Foothill pulled the plug on its financing.
Victoria Creations will try to convince a bankruptcy judge to allow it to use the proceeds from its accounts receivable, at a hearing Tuesday.

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