The ultra-classy department store, beloved by Carrie Bradshaw and gay men on both coasts, has hired restructuring/bankruptcy law firm Kirkland & Ellis to help renegotiate a $200 million loan due in September, reports WWD.
According to The Cut, its finances are dire:
The retailer has been mired in debt ever since their 2007 takeover by Dubai investment group Istithmar, which bought Barneys from The Jones Group for $942 million. Istithmar still owes $660 million in outstanding loans stemming from the deal, primarily to Citigroup and Wells Fargo, all of which are due in various chunks — $200 million, $280 million, and $180 million respectively — over the next four years.
Rumors have been swirling that Barneys might have file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, as it did once before in 1996, if worse comes to worst.
Says a Barneys spokesperson:
Barneys New York is actively engaged in discussions with the company’s small group of lenders to improve its balance sheet and further position Barneys New York for sustainable, long-term growth and success. We are focused on resolving this matter as expeditiously as possible, and it will remain business as usual at Barneys New York.
One of the ways it could improve its balance sheet—by courting the wife of one of its biggest debt-holders.
The Daily News says Barneys CEO Mark Lee is pushing designer Lisa Perry’s collection hard. Lisa is the wife of billionaire hedge-fund manager Richard Perry, whose Perry Capital holds a large chunk of Barneys’ debt.
Should Barneys go the way of the purple dinosaur (become extinct, we mean), where ever are we going to buy fabulous shorts for Fire Island/Provincetown/Key West/Santa Monica/South Beach???