Belk to file for bankruptcy

Belk to file for bankruptcy

CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Department store Belk will file for pre-packaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the company announced Tuesday.

A pre-packaged filing is one in which negotiations with creditors are done in advance of the Chapter 11 process.

The retailer has received financing commitments for $225 million in new capital from its majority owner, the private equity firm Sycamore Partners, which will retain majority control of Belk, and from investment firms KKR and Blackstone Credit and first lien lenders. Its plan to recapitalize its business will reduce the company’s debt by $450 million, the company said.

Under the Restructuring Support Agreement, suppliers will be “unimpaired” and will continue to be paid normally for all goods and services provided, Belk said. It plans to continue normal operations throughout its financial restructuring process and expects the restructuring to be complete by the end of February.

“Belk has a 130-year legacy of providing quality products at great prices,” said Belk CEO Lisa Harper. “Like all retailers navigating COVID-19, our priority has been the safety of our associates, customers and communities. As the ongoing effects of the pandemic have continued, we’ve been assessing potential options to protect our future. We’re confident that this agreement puts us on the right long-term path towards significantly reducing our debt and providing us with greater financial flexibility to meet our obligations and to continue investing in our business, including further enhancements and additions to Belk’s omnichannel capabilities.”

Editor-in-Chief Allison Zisko first joined HFN in 1998 and spent many years covering the tabletop category before widening her scope to all home furnishings. In her current role, she oversees all aspects of HFN, including its print and digital products, and represents the brand at home and abroad through presentations, panel discussions and HFN’s podcast, The Inside Scoop.

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