BIDERMANN INTERNATIONAL IN AGREEMENT WITH CREDITORS ON RESTRUCTURING DEAL

Byline:

PARIS — Maurice Bidermann, chairman of Bidermann International, and the company’s bank and institutional creditors, reached agreement Friday on a restructuring plan for the firm’s European operations to be funded by Lucien Deveaux, an apparel manufacturer here, and Sylvain Jama, a wholesaler.
The deal hinges on an audit of the Bidermann company, a men’s wear manufacturer and retailer, and a lifting of the restraining order in the U.S. courts against any restructuring that would dilute Maurice Bidermann’s stake. That court order recognizes a $13 million claim against Maurice Bidermann held by Rexnord Holdings.
The Deveaux-Jama restructuring plan is being done in association with Maurice Bidermann; previous proposals effectively cut him out of the company. Bidermann will remain the majority shareholder of Bidermann SA, the group’s holding company.
In a complex restructuring plan, Deveaux and Jama will inject about $33 million (170 million francs) of new capital into the European holdings in exchange for undisclosed equity. An undisclosed portion of the group’s debt is also being converted into equity, and another forgiven.
The deal does not involve Bidermann Industries, Bidermann’s U.S. arm that makes the licensed Ralph Lauren Womenswear and Yves Saint Laurent men’s wear lines as well Arrow shirts and Gold Toe socks. Separately, though, Paris’s Commercial Court has appointed Denis Bouychou as an ad hoc administrator to Epic SA, the current holding company of Bidermann Industries, upon request of the French petrochemical giant Elf Acquitaine, which holds minority stakes in both Bidermann SA and Bidermann Industries.
As reported, the board of the U.S. company has hired a Wall Street bank to pursue possible purchasers.

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