Provides Interim Access Up to $725 million in Debtor-In-Possession Financing
Stores Open and E-Commerce and Mobile Platforms are Operating in Normal Course to Continue to Provide Exceptional Shopping Experiences for Customers
MILWAUKEE, Feb. 06, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. (OTCQX:BONT) (“the Company”), today announced that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware approved all of the Company’s first day motions related to its voluntary petitions for a Chapter 11 financial restructuring. Collectively, the approvals at a hearing on February 6 will support the Bon-Ton business and enable the Company to meet its financial obligations throughout the financial restructuring process.
Bill Tracy, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “The Court’s approvals of our First Day motions are an important step forward in our financial restructuring process that will allow the Company to continue operating in the normal course and executing on our key initiatives to drive improved performance. We intend to use the additional time and financial flexibility of this court-supervised process to engage with potential investors and our debtholders on a financial restructuring plan as well as evaluate options for our business.”
Mr. Tracy continued, “Across our seven well-loved brands, we continue to deliver the exceptional shopping experience customers expect in our stores and across e-commerce and mobile platforms. I want to thank our associates for their ongoing hard work and dedication to our customers as we move through this process.”
The Court today approved authorization for Bon-Ton to access up to $725 million in debtor-in-possession (“DIP”) financing from its existing ABL lenders. The Company also received authorization to continue payment of wages, provide health and other benefits to employees, and to pay vendors in the ordinary course for all goods and services provided on or after the Chapter 11 filing date.
As previously announced, on February 4, 2018 Bon-Ton and its subsidiaries filed voluntary petitions for a court-supervised financial restructuring under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. The Company’s stores, e-commerce and mobile platforms under the Bon-Ton, Bergner's, Boston Store, Carson's, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s and Younkers nameplates are open and operating as usual. The Company is closing 47 stores in 2018, four of which closed in January and one store that is near completion, and an additional 42 at which store closing sales began on February 1, 2018 and will run for approximately 10 to 12 weeks. A full list of those locations can be found on the Company’s investor relations website.
Additional information is available on the Company’s restructuring website at bontonrestructuring.com. Court filings and other documents related to the court-supervised process are available at https://cases.primeclerk.com/bonton or by calling the Company’s claims agent, Prime Clerk, at (844) 253-1011 (toll-free in the U.S.) or (347) 338-6537 (for parties outside the U.S.).
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP is acting as the Company’s legal counsel, AlixPartners LLP is serving as restructuring advisor and PJT Partners, Inc. is acting as financial advisor.
About The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc.
The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc., with corporate headquarters in York, Pennsylvania and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, operates 256 stores, which includes nine furniture galleries and four clearance centers, in 23 states in the Northeast, Midwest and upper Great Plains under the Bon-Ton, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s and Younkers nameplates. The stores offer a broad assortment of national and private brand fashion apparel and accessories for women, men and children, as well as cosmetics and home furnishings. The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. is an active and positive participant in the communities it serves. For further information, please visit http://investors.bonton.com.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Certain information included in this release and in other communications made by the Company contain statements that are forward-looking within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements, which may be identified by words such as “may,” “could,” “will,” “plan,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “project,” “intend,” or other similar expressions, involve important risks and uncertainties that could significantly cause future results to differ from those expressed in any forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause such differences include, but are not limited to: risks related to retail businesses generally; deterioration of general economic conditions; potential increases in pension obligations; consumer spending patterns, debt levels, and the availability and cost of consumer credit; additional competition from existing and new competitors or changes in the competitive environment; changes in energy and transportation costs; weather conditions that could negatively impact sales; the ability to attract and retain qualified management; the dependence upon relationships with vendors and their factors; a data security breach or system failure; the ability to reduce or control SG&A expenses; operational disruptions; unsuccessful marketing initiatives; the ability to improve efficiency through the Company’s eCommerce fulfillment center; changes in, or the failure to successfully implement, our key strategies, including the store rationalization program and initiatives to improve our merchandising, marketing and operations; adverse outcomes in litigation; the ability to obtain financing for working capital, capital expenditures and general corporate purposes; the impact of regulatory requirements; the financial condition of mall operators; and the uncertainties relating to the bankruptcy filing by the Company, including, but not limited to, (i) the Company’s ability to obtain Bankruptcy Court approval with respect to motions or other requests made to the Bankruptcy Court in the Chapter 11 case, including maintaining strategic control as debtor-in-possession; (ii) the ability of the Company and its subsidiaries to negotiate, develop, confirm and consummate a plan of reorganization; (iii) the effects of the Company’s bankruptcy filing on the Company and on the interests of various constituents; (iv) Bankruptcy Court rulings in the Chapter 11 case and the outcome of the Chapter 11 case in general; (v) the length of time that the Company will operate under Chapter 11 protection and the continued availability of operating capital during the pendency of the proceedings; (vi) risks associated with third party motions in the Chapter 11 case, which may interfere with the Company’s ability to confirm and consummate a plan of reorganization; (vii) the potential adverse effects of the Chapter 11 proceedings on the Company’s liquidity or results of operations; (viii) increased advisory costs to execute the Company’s reorganization; and (ix) other risks and uncertainties. Additional factors that could cause the Company’s actual results to differ from those contained in these forward-looking statements are discussed in greater detail under Item 1A of the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for fiscal 2017 and subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Forward-looking statements made by the Company in this release, or elsewhere, speak only as of the date on which the statements were made. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as otherwise required by law.
Christine Hojnacki, 414-347-5329
Michael Freitag / Leigh Parrish / Tim Ragones
Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher
Source:The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc.