Alex and Ani have a $17.5m loan as they seek post-bankruptcy growth

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Diving Brief:

  • Jewelry retailer Alex and Ani has a new $17.5 million loan to fund its working capital needs and operations following last year’s Chapter 11 restructuring.
  • The company has closed the senior secured credit facility, provided by middle market asset lending specialist Second Avenue Capital Partners.
  • The funding represents an “affirmation of the resiliency of the revamped Alex and Ani brand and even more of our vision for the future,” Alex and Ani CEO Scott Burger said in a press release..

Overview of the dive:

Founded in 2004 by Carolyn Rafaelian in the basement of her father’s jewelry factory, Alex and Ani rose to fame with their customizable stretchy charm bracelets. Within a decade, the company was selling 10 million wristbands a year.

The past decade has brought several problems for the company, including executive turnover, sloppy inventory management, non-payment and wrongful termination lawsuits from former employees, according to court documents last year. .

The company filed for bankruptcy in 2021 after a ransomware virus first disrupted operations and then COVID-19 disrupted the entire retail world.

Alex and Ani planned to auction off, but when no auction came in, he advanced with a reorganization plan who transferred the property to the lenders. A federal bankruptcy judge confirmed the plan last September.

The funding and partnership with Second Avenue will help Alex and Ani “optimize” its capital structure in pursuit of short- and long-term growth strategies, Burger said.

Chris O’Connor, president of Second Avenue, noted in the statement that Alex and Ani have since expanded his leadership. This includes Burger, a former president of jewelry retailer Pandora’s Americas division, who joined Alex and Ani earlier this year.

The expanded leadership “allowed the company to step back and focus on the fundamentals of the business,” O’Connor said.

The loan, along with recent reports that Bed Bath & Beyond has found a lender to help fund liquidity needs, is a sign that capital markets are still able to fund retailers’ operational needs amid the tough times. higher interest rates and concerns about consumer confidence.

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