Global Brands is part of a consortium that is launching a rescue bid for BCBG Max Azria Group, which is scheduled to face a bankruptcy auction this month.
Industry insiders say brand-licence company Marquee Brands is leading the consortium, which includes Hong Kong-headquartered Global Brands Group Holding, a company spun off from Li & Fung, which already has a licensing agreement with many BCBG brands.
BCBG Max Azria filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in New York in March, and this month’s auction is expected to attract bids starting at US$150 million.
Meanwhile, the US fashion group has received commitment for $45 million in fresh financing to fund restructuring, including a focus on digital, e-commerce and wholesale, plus licensing agreements.
It said in March that it expected to complete a reorganisation within six months and would keep stores open during the process. But now it has announced the closure of 120 stores, mostly in the US, and will consolidate its business in Japan.
The company says it has received commitments from existing asset-based and term-loan lenders to provide financing as it regroups. BCBG has listed assets of between $100 million and $500 million and liabilities between $500 million and $1 billion.
BCBG Max Azria was founded in 1989 by Tunisian fashion designer Max Azria, who was also CEO until last year and more recently joined bug-zapping startup ZappLight. Fans once included celebrities Alicia Keys, Angelina Jolie, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Eva Mendes, Kate Winslet, Rachel Bilson and Victoria Beckham.
Azria based his vision and company name on “bon chic, bon genre”, Parisian slang for “good style, good attitude”.