COURT GIVES BARNEYS OK ON HIRING BRINCKO

Byline: Rich Wilner

NEW YORK — Barneys New York won bankruptcy court approval Friday to hire turnaround expert John Brincko as its senior Chapter 11 restructuring officer.
Brincko, who was retained along with his Los Angeles-based firm Brincko & Associates, will be paid $65,000 a month under the one-year deal and will be eligible for $195,000 in severance compensation plus a performance bonus once his contract expires.
In addition, Barneys will pay Brincko, a California resident, an undisclosed housing allowance during his tenure.
Details of Brincko’s contract were disclosed at a court hearing here Friday.
The hiring of Brincko, first reported in WWD on March 7, drew raves Friday from Barneys’ creditors, Chemical Bank and its global business partner, Isetan Co. Ltd. They agreed that Brincko will help keep the Barneys Chapter 11 on a fast track, probably save the upscale retailer money and allow Charles Bunstine, president and chief operating officer, and co-ceos Robert and Gene Pressman, to concentrate on the day-to-day business of Barneys.
There was no opposition to the hiring.
Barneys’ hiring of a veteran turnaround professional was necessary under its $100 million debtor-in-possession financing deal with Chemical Bank, although John Campo, counsel to Barneys, said the chain had previously decided to hire a person with Brincko’s experience.
At the same hearing, Bankruptcy Judge James Garrity gave Barneys permission to relocate its outlet in Woodbury Common in Harriman, N.Y., to a stronger location in the complex that is smaller but potentially more profitable, Barneys said permission was also given to open a new outlet in Dawsonville, Ga., 43 miles north of Atlanta. It is scheduled to open May 17 and will be greeted by “an extensive media blitz,” according to Campo. The attorney told Judge Garrity that Barneys expects to recoup its capital investment in seven months. — Fairchild News Service

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