Retail fallout: Victoria’s Secret sale scrapped, Neiman Marcus nears restructuring deal

Pandemic raises stakes for already struggling retailers

TRD NATIONAL /
May.May 05, 2020 10:45 AM
Victoria’s Secret’s parent company has canceled its deal with private equity firm Sycamore Partners, while Neiman Marcus is nearing a restructuring deal with a Pimco-led group. (Andrew Chin/Getty Images; Noam Galai/Getty Images)

Victoria’s Secret’s parent company has canceled its deal with private equity firm Sycamore Partners, while Neiman Marcus is nearing a restructuring deal with a Pimco-led group. (Andrew Chin/Getty Images; Noam Galai/Getty Images)

With their stores still closed, these struggling retailers are pursuing new plans.

L Brands, the parent company of lingerie retailer Victoria’s Secret, has canceled its deal with private equity firm Sycamore Partners, which agreed in February to buy 55 percent of the company for $525 million and take it private, Bloomberg reported.

In a court filing last week, Sycamore had argued that L Brands’ decision to furlough employees, cut salaries and close stores during the pandemic was a violation of their agreement. The parties have now agreed to settle all pending litigation and neither will have to pay a termination fee.

L Brands plans to operate Bath & Body Works as a standalone public company, while spinning off Victoria’s Secret as a separate entity. Further details will be on the company’s May 21 earnings call.

Meanwhile, department store chain Neiman Marcus is reportedly closing in on a deal with a group of lenders led by Pimco, which would cut the firm’s debt load by more than half in exchange for control of the company, according to a separate report in Bloomberg.

The deal would see Neiman Marcus restructured after a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, which could come as early as this week.

Last week, a group of investors including Mudrick Capital Management submitted a $700 million proposal to Neiman Marcus for debtor-in-possession financing, in a deal that would require an outright sale of the company. [Bloomberg 1, 2] — Kevin Sun


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