BIG M CREDIT REFINANCING: The financial pressure’s off Big M, for now. The Totowa, N.J.-based firm owned by the Mandelbaum family, which operates the Mandee and Annie Sez nameplates, has refinanced its existing credit facility through a $20 million senior-secured working capital facility from Salus Capital Partners. The new financing also will provide working capital for general corporate purposes. Big M was under pressure heading into the Christmas weekend as market sources said a financial squeeze was under way after many vendors were complaining that they were having difficulty obtaining information from the company. That led to speculation that a bankruptcy filing was near. Such a filing has not materialized. Credit sources confirmed in January that some factors were no longer checking the chain, leaving vendors to decide whether to take on the risk of shipping to the chain. Despite the financing, credit sources said the company is still haggling with vendors on terms for the shipment of future orders. Market sources said Big M is receiving merchandise for its stores, but only because current terms are cash in advance.

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