Nine West collapses under massive debts

Women’s shoe retailer Nine West, saddled with billions of dollars of debt, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in New York.

There are widespread reports the brand will be bought by Authentic Brands, which last month bought Nautica, adding to a portfolio including Juicy Couture. Nine West also owns the Bandolino shoe brand, which will also be divested.

Court documents filed in New York show the embattled brand has assets estimated at between $500 million and $1 billion and liabilities of between $1 billion and $10 billion, an astonishingly vague range, which raises questions in itself.

Nine West’s imminent collapse was first reported last week after the company missed an interest payment last month.

Reuters reports that Nine West’s creditors will take over the remaining business, including a denim line sold in mass market retailers. Some Nine West creditors plan to sue Sycamore Partners, the private equity company that acquired Nine West in a $2.2 billion leveraged buyout of the Jones Group four years ago, subsequently selling the Kurt Geiger and Stuart Weitzman sister brands, divestments creditors argue “made Nine West insolvent”.

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