BOB’S GETS $65M IN CREDIT

NEW YORK — Bob’s Stores, the struggling specialty retailer of basic branded apparel, said it secured a new $65 million revolving credit facility from Fleet Retail Finance. Proceeds will be used for working capital and general corporate purposes. Bob’s, based in Meriden, Conn., operates 34 stores in the Northeast.
“This new management team is highly focused on completing several significant merchandising, marketing and operational initiatives,” according to a statement from Bob’s Stores president and chief executive David Farrell.
Farrell, formerly vice president and chief financial officer, became ceo last September following the departure of Marc Balmuth. Balmuth, a former president at Caldor Corp., had joined Bob’s in March 1997 and orchestrated the chain’s November 1997 spinoff from Melville Corp., which has since changed its name to CVS Corp. Bob’s was sold to Citicorp Venture Capital Ltd. and management of the chain for $92 million.
According to credit sources, Bob’s had sales of $387 million last year and lost money as a result of weakness in basics.
Factors had been nervous about checking the chain because of its bank situation and about $45 million in debt obligations still owed to CVS as part of the spinoff. CVS is expected to write off this obligation.

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