Fashion retailer Forever 21 files for bankruptcy

Published: September 30, 2019
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People walk by the clothing retailer Forever 21 in New York City, United States. PHOTO: REUTERS

People walk by the clothing retailer Forever 21 in New York City, United States. PHOTO: REUTERS

Fashion retailer Forever 21 Inc filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Sunday as it joined a growing list of brick-and-mortar players who have succumbed to the onslaught of e-commerce.

Since the start of 2017, more than 20 US retailers, including Sears Holdings Corp and Toys ‘R’ Us, have filed for bankruptcy as more customers shift to online retailers such as Amazon Inc.

The company lists both assets and liabilities in the range of $1 billion to $10 billion, according to the court filing in the US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

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The retailer said it received $275 million in financing from its existing lenders with JPMorgan Chase Bank, NA as agent, and $75 million in new capital from TPG Sixth Street Partners, and certain of its affiliated funds.

With these funds, Forever 21 said it intends to operate business as usual and will focus on profitable core part of its operations.

Meanwhile, the company plans to close most of its international locations in Asia and Europe, but will continue operations in Mexico and Latin America.

Founded in 1984, the retailer has 815 stores in 57 countries. Last week, it said it would exit Japan and close all 14 stores at the end of October.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP was serving as the company’s legal adviser, Alvarez & Marsal advised on restructuring, and Lazard acted as its investment banker.

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