Investment Banking

Gymboree Files for Chapter 11, CFO Departs

The retailer is expected to close up to one-third of its stores.
William SprouseJune 12, 2017
Gymboree Files for Chapter 11, CFO Departs

The children’s clothing retailer Gymboree has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and its CFO, Andrew North, is leaving, according to an announcement from the company.

The decisions follow a move by S&P Global Ratings to downgrade Gymboree’s credit rating to “D” from “CC” following a missed interest payment on June 1.

“We expect to move through this process quickly and emerge as a stronger organization that is better positioned in today’s evolving retail landscape,” CEO Daniel Griesemer said in a statement. He said the steps the company was taking would allow it to definitively address its debt and focus on executing key strategies.

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Gymboree said it plans to remain in business but will close 375 to 450 of its 1,281 stores, according to a court filing.

The bankruptcy filing was not unexpected.

At the time of its ratings downgrade, S&P said it did not expect Gymboree to make any payments on its debt obligations and that a general default was impending “given ongoing lender negotiations.”

On June 1, the company missed an interest payment on a 9.125% senior note due 2018, CNBC reported, citing SEC filings. At the time, S&P said roughly $872 million of Gymboree’s $1.1 billion in total debt was due within twelve months and operating trends were deteriorating.

The company has been working with AlixPartners, a turnaround specialist, to assist in operations. Liyuan Woo, a director at AlixPartners, will replace North as CFO on an interim basis.

In its statement, Gymboree said North was leaving for personal reasons.

Gymboree said the filing should reduce its debts by more than $900 million. The company said it has secured commitments for up to $308.5 million in new financing.

Much of Gymboree’s debt load was taken on during a $1.8 billion leveraged buyout by Bain Capital in 2010.