BUGLE BOY STRUGGLES IN CASH CRISIS
Byline: Kristi Ellis
LOS ANGELES — Bugle Boy Industries, facing a severe liquidity crisis, could be sounding its own rendition of taps soon, according to industry sources.
William Mow, the company’s founder, chairman and chief executive, is reportedly no longer with the firm, according to sources who requested anonymity. He was not available when called at the company’s Simi Valley, Calif. headquarters, and other officials with the firm declined comment.
The firm has also brought in a “crisis manager” to sell off assets, which include the trademarks and about 300 factory outlet stores, sources said.
“They’ve been having financial difficulty for some time,” said Mark Brutzkus, an attorney who represents eight Turkish manufacturers who are owed “several million dollars” by Bugle Boy. “Factors weren’t checking their credit.”
Brutzkus, with the Encino, Calif.-based law firm, Ezra Brutzkus Gubner, said, “They are hoping to find a white knight to resuscitate the business, but the more likely scenario is an orderly liquidation to maximize the value of the assets.”
Bugle Boy’s lead lender, Foothill Capital, a division of Wells Fargo, is said to be owed over $80 million.
Founded in 1977 by Mow with Vincent Nesi and Stanley Buchthal, Bugle Boy, primarily a men’s and young men’s brand, had recently been making inroads into women’s with a license for juniors and family-oriented marketing campaign. Women’s wear accounts for about 10 percent of the company’s volume at wholesale and up to 20 percent of retail sales at Bugle Boy stores.
In January the firm signed a licensing deal with One Clothing for girls and juniors. Under the name B “Heart” B by Bugle Boy, it launched the young women’s line last February.
Peter Yoo, president of One Clothing, said, “We are going to continue to present our lines because the entire concept of the juniors and girls’ lines comes from our design department.”