Belk’s top lenders, including KKR, looking to avoid taking department store through bankruptcy, WSJ says

Belk division store

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KKR, Blackstone and other fundamental lenders to Belk are in talks with the North Carolina-based mostly entirely mostly division store chain to withhold it out of financial extinguish, in response to a Wall Road Journal file.

The firm, its lenders and the inside of most-equity agency Sycamore Companions are inching nearer toward reaching an out-of-court docket deal, the file acknowledged, citing other folks accustomed to the discussions.

Representatives from Belk, KKR and Blackstone didn’t straight answer to CNBC’s requests for comment. Sycamore declined to comment.

A deal is no longer assured at this level, the Journal file cautioned, but it if truth be told acknowledged Belk’s lenders have considerable how the Chapter 11 financial extinguish direction of has proved advanced for a good deal of different retail chains throughout the Covid pandemic, with some being compelled to liquidate.

KKR and Blackstone are hoping to transform a half of Belk’s $2.6 billion debt into equity, presumably by technique of an out-of-court docket deal that can allow Sycamore to serve an ownership stake, the Journal acknowledged. KKR is “reluctant” to rep Belk by technique of an in-court docket financial extinguish direction of on yarn of the high charges associated with filing, the file acknowledged.

The usa’s division store operators — including Belk and its almost about 300 shops primarily in the Southeast — have struggled as buyers are frequenting division shops less in general and are procuring for less apparel throughout the pandemic.

Final year, Neiman Marcus, J.C. Penney, Stage Stores and Lord & Taylor filed for financial extinguish. The latter, the oldest division store chain in the nation, ended up liquidating and shutting all of its shops. Penney narrowly escaped that identical final end result after U.S. mall owners Simon Property Neighborhood and Brookfield Property Companions obtained it.

Sycamore recently bought the Ann Taylor, Loft and Lane Bryant girls’s apparel manufacturers out of financial extinguish from Ascena Retail Neighborhood. The inside of most equity agency additionally owns Staples, which final week made an unsolicited takeover offer for Office Depot guardian ODP.