FINANCO INC. FORMS NEW DIVISION
Byline: David Moin
NEW YORK — Financo Inc. has formed Financo Restructuring to help struggling retailers and manufacturers in bankruptcy or seeking to avoid it, and has named attorney Robert M. Miller president of the new division.
For Financo, an independent investment banking firm specializing in the retail and fashion industries, the venture marks a stronger commitment to advising on financial restructurings after dabbling in the field for years, including working in the past with Ames bondholders, Stewart’s management and selling off Casual Male to J. Baker.
The venture also marks Miller’s full-time return to advisory practice. Previously, he ran the bankruptcy practice at Berlack, Israels & Liberman for 12 years, working on corporate restructurings such as Trump Taj Mahal, Days Inn, A.H. Robins and Continental Airlines, as well as R.H. Macy, where he represented bondholders and was instrumental in the takeover of Macy’s by Federated Department Stores in 1994.
“This is the perfect time for us to start up Financo Restructuring because of the economic climate and the number of troubled companies out there,” said Gilbert Harrison, chairman of Financo.
Harrison said Financo will help distressed firms restructure debt, secure capital and advise creditors. Retailers, fashion firms and companies in other industries will be sought as clients.
“We never made restructurings a focus before. Now, we’ve made it a practice,” said William M. Smith, Financo’s president.
Smith and Harrison will work with Miller in the new division.
Financo has other affiliates, including Mercantile Capital Partners, a private equity fund specializing in the merchandising sector, and Financo Global Consulting, which advises merchandising firms on product strategy and strategic analysis. In its new venture, Financo, founded in 1971 by Harrison, will be competing against firms such as Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, Lazard Freres and Blackstone Group.