PARIS — Bidermann International said Thursday that it is in “advanced negotiations” for a restructuring plan proposed by Lucien Deveaux, an apparel manufacturer here.
A spokesman for Maurice Bidermann, chairman of Bidermann International and majority shareholder in the Bidermann SA holding company, said Bidermann’s creditors and CIRI, a French government agency responsible for supervising takeover and restructuring negotiations for troubled firms here, have approved the Deveaux plan. While no details have been disclosed, the spokesman said it focuses only on Bidermann’s European operations.
Meanwhile, another potential rescuer of Bidermann — an investment group headed by apparel manufacturers Alain Nemarq and Leo Gros — has withdrawn its bid. According to press reports, it’s dropped its offer in frustration over the effective blocking of the deal by ongoing litigation in New York courts from Rexnord Holding regarding its personal claim against Maurice Bidermann. Rexnord argues that the restructuring would dilute Maurice Bidermann’s stake in the business and put Rexnord’s claim at risk. Spokesmen for the Nemarq-Gros group could not be reached.
Despite various statements in court papers in New York by Maurice Bidermann and Bidermann’s creditors that his European business could go bankrupt without a successful restructuring, the Bidermann spokesman here said the company is not about to go bankrupt. The company’s press release further said the firm, a manufacturer of men’s wear, is operating within its bank lines of credit, and that for 1995, the company is expecting a “balanced” cash flow.
The New York-based arm of Bidermann, not involved in the restructuring talks, produces the licensed Ralph Lauren Womenswear collections as well as various men’s wear lines.
— Fairchild News Service