NEW YORK, United States — Gymboree Corp., the struggling children’s clothing retailer, is preparing to file for bankruptcy as it faces a June 1 interest payment on its debt, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
The Bain Capital-controlled company is seeking to reorganise its debt load and may transfer control to its lenders, including Searchlight Capital and Brigade Capital Management, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the process isn’t public.
Representatives for Bain, Gymboree, Brigade and Searchlight declined to comment.
Gymboree, labouring under more than $1 billion in debt from its Bain buyout in 2010, warned last month that it’s running short on cash and may not survive if it can’t persuade creditors to refinance its debt. The June 1 interest payment applies to its 9.125 percent notes that are due 2018.
The retailer, which operates about 1,300 stores, hasn’t posted an annual profit since 2011, with losses totalling more than $800 million. Gymboree hired Rothschild & Co. to advise it on a potential restructuring this year, people with knowledge of the matter have said.
A Rothschild representative also declined to comment.
Retailers have been hammered by a decline in mall shopping and the rise of online competitors like Amazon.com Inc. Gymboree, which has most of its stores in malls, goes head-to-head with specialty chains such as Children’s Place Inc., as well as mass merchants like Target Corp.
Gymboree has a $761 million term loan due in February 2018. The loan is trading at about 44 cents on the dollar, compared with 80 cents in late September.
By Lauren Coleman-Lochner and Jodi Xu Klein; editors: Christopher DeReza, Nick Turner and Faris Khan.