MOONACHIE, New Jersey – January 18, 2016 – Joyce Leslie, Inc. announced today that it had filed a motion on January 14th for court approval to set bid procedures and an auction date for a sale of most of its assets. Joyce Leslie, Inc. (the “Company”) had previously announced that it had filed a voluntary petition under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York on January 9th. Lee Diercks, Chief Restructuring Officer of the Company, and Partner with Clear Thinking Group LLC, explains, “This is a still an iconic brand that does over $60 million in revenue and it is our continued hope that we can find a going concern buyer for the Company. There is still a very loyal customer base to this brand and if the Company were properly capitalized, and with a few changes, I believe this chain could still be very successful.”
The Company’s motion asks for approval to set bid procedures, set an auction date, and set a court date for approval of a sale. The Company also filed two “stalking horse” agreements for selected assets to set the “floor” for the asset sale. The Company filed an Agency Agreement with a group led by SB Capital Group to provide a guaranteed return on sale of the Company’s inventory, furniture, and fixtures. The Company also filed a proposal regarding the purchase of a number of store leases, the related furniture & fixtures, and the Company’s intellectual property.
Mr. Diercks commented, “This motion, if approved, allows the Company to now look at all proposals from interested buyers on the entire business or pieces of the business. Obviously, we need to do this quickly to maximize recovery for all of our creditors; and if sold to a going concern buyer a quick sale would allow the business to re-stock its inventory quickly for the important spring/summer selling season. We are interested in talking to all serious interested parties.”
Diercks had previously said, “The Chapter 11 filing was the result of continuing sales declines over the past four years. The extreme competition in this sector, a lack of an e-commerce platform, and the shift in the consumer buying patterns have lead the Company to this action.” Diercks anticipates that an auction would occur sometime in the first week of February.
The Company operates a chain of 47 women’s retail clothing stores located throughout New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut. The Company caters to women, ages 15-35 living in urban areas, selling a variety of junior women’s apparel.
SB Capital Group is currently winding down liquidation sales in 5 of the Company’s locations.