Retail Store Fixtures Manufacturer

Company Overview

Retail Store Fixtures Manufacturer - the Company was a $200 million manufacturer of store fixtures and merchandising equipment sold primarily to major non-food retailers.  Products ranged from front room sales to industrial racking, specialty showcases/counters to hardware. The Company was organized in four operating divisions that manufactured and distributed products from eight production facilities and five warehouse / distribution facilities.
Engagement Overview
•  A confluence of events, including the Company’s #1 customer reducing store openings by 80%, a second customer filing for bankruptcy, and overall slowing of retail expansion, led to severe financial distress.  At the time of our hiring, the Company had ceased operations as they were unable to pay any bills other than payroll.

•  FDP was engaged as the Chief Restructuring Officer and Investment Banker to implement a restructuring plan and guide the business through a bankruptcy filing:
•  Identified a number of issues in the financial statements that needed to be “cleaned-up” prior to developing a reliable budget and financing request
•  Identified plants to be closed consolidating operations and functions, sold non-core assets and reduced headcount and other operating expenses including compensation of owners and managers
•  Met with vendors and customers to re-establish credibility and ensure operational stability by executing on promised delivery dates, payments, etc.
•  Worked with potential buyers to explain the restructuring plan, negotiate deal points, support due diligence and ensure adequate funding during the sales process.

•  Retained post closing by the Chapter 11 trustee the buyer and wind-down the to manage the transition services agreement entered into with  remaining operation.

•  Provided accounting support for bankruptcy filing needs including weekly financial reporting to bank group.

•  Supported the investigation and analysis of insider transactions and preference payments for various attorneys.
Results
  • Fort Dearborn successfully negotiated with the Company’s bank group prior to bankruptcy filing to begin funding operations again and increased the level of total bank debt by approximately 35% to nearly $48 million

  • Our seller advisory process resulted in 17 buyer visits and a successful auction which included a 15% increase in the ultimate sales price

  • We successfully negotiated settlement of transaction holdbacks and arguments over asset valuations with the buyer due to our intimate knowledge of operations and the deal terms