CONSHOHOCKEN, PA. — David’s Bridal LLC and some of its subsidiaries have filed voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Both the brand’s nearly 300 physical stores, as well as its online platforms, will remain open and operational, according to the company.
The Conshohocken-based retailer is seeking customary “first-day” relief authorizations from the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey to continue payment of employee wages and benefits, maintain certain customer programs and honor vendor obligations.
The company had previously filed for bankruptcy in November 2018 and re-emerged under new ownership in early 2019. The retailer’s current ownership group comprises lenders led by global investment manager Oaktree Capital Management. Also in 2019, Brookfield Asset Management acquired a majority stake in Oaktree Capital Management.
David’s Bridal has retained Gordon Brothers to assist with inventory sales. The company will also continue to evaluate its physical footprint and explore the sale of some or all of its assets.
“Our business continues to be challenged by the post-COVID environment and uncertain economic conditions, leading us to take this step to identify a buyer who can continue to operate our business going forward,” says James Marcum, CEO of David’s Bridal.
Also ahead of a potential sale, several media outlets have reported that David’s Bridal filed a notice with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry in early April for the termination of more than 9,000 people from the company’s stores, offices and distribution centers. If executed, that would represent a more than 80 percent reduction in David’s Bridal’s workforce.
The company expects to file a recognition proceeding in Canada and a subsidiary of David’s Bridal expects to commence an administration proceeding for its business in the United Kingdom. There are currently 16 David’s Bridal stores open and operating outside of the United States, according to the retailer’s website.
According to court documents, the bridal company may be forced to liquidate all of its inventory and shutter its doors if a new buyer doesn’t emerge.
“We are grateful to the seven decades of brides and customers who have trusted us with the most special events of their lives, as well as to the dedicated associates and valued partners who make our customers’ dreams come true,” says Marcum.
Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Cole Schotz PC are serving as legal counsel, Houlihan Lokey Capital Inc. is serving as investment banker, BRG is serving as financial and restructuring advisor, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP is serving as Canadian legal counsel, C Street Advisory Group is serving as strategic communications advisor and Omni Agent Solutions is serving as claims and noticing agent to David’s Bridal.
— John Nelson