Misery Index for the Week of January 8, 2017

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Hurricane Irma, Maria flies Seaborne Airlines operator into bankruptcy.

Puerto Rican airline Seaborne Airlines’ operator, SeaStar Holdings, filed for Chapter 11 in Delaware seeking a sale of the assets at auction with a stalking horse bid of $5m. The filing cited Hurricane Irma, which was followed only one week later by Hurricane Maria, as the main factor that pushed the company into bankruptcy. The hurricanes caused substantial amounts of damage to Puerto Rico, St. Croix and the Dominican Republic, which are where the majority of the airlines business was conducted. New York-based investment firm Volant Holding, which is also the majority equity holder, has agreed to provide the company with $10m to fund the bankruptcy cases.  The company is privately held, with eight aircraft and roughly 200 employees. The company has roughly $11.5m of secured debt and $11.2m of unsecured debt, with assets listed in the $1m to $10m range.

Declaration

Petition

Hobbico files Chapter 11 after failing to capitalize on the drone market.

Radio-control and general hobby distributor Hobbico sought protection under Chapter 11 in Delaware while it attempts to restructure the business that includes a potential asset sale. The company cited issues with Asian suppliers that led to disruption in the business and ultimately defaults under their debt obligations. Additionally, the company cited lack of investment in products, its underdeveloped ecommerce platform and the saturated drone market, among other things. As of the filing, the company had $115.7m of secured debt and certain of those lenders will provide the company with a loan to fund the bankruptcy case. The sales process continues with no one being identified as a potential buyer.

In December, a letter was sent to employees stating the U.S. Department of Labor had launched an investigation against the company because it deferred employee stock-ownership payments in 2016, leading to sharp declines in the stock price.

Petition

Declaration

A’GACI feeling the pain of hurricane damage falls victim to Chapter 11.

A’GACI, a Texas-based specialty apparel and footwear retailer, is looking to right-size its business by closing unprofitable stores and exploring a potential sale of the business. The company attributed the bankruptcy filing to a combination of factors including unsuccessful expansion of retail stores, a shift to online shopping and damages from recent hurricanes at the company’s most profitable locations. A’GACI operated 76 stores as of the filing and has yet to identify how many it intends to close, subject to court approval. The company listed both assets and liabilities of $50m to $100m.

Petition

Declaration

U.S. branch of KIKO Cosmetics aiming to close 85% of its stores in Chapter 11.

The cosmetics company blames the downturn in the overall retail industry and more specifically on the decreased mall traffic and customers moving to online channels to purchase products. During the bankruptcy cases the company is seeking to close 24 of the 29 existing retail locations and operated the remaining five as well as their ecommerce business. The company intends to refocus its product assortment, enhance the customer experience and optimize its marketing efforts to emerge and operated the restructured KIKO successfully.

KIKO’s bankruptcy case will be funded by a loan from its parent, KIKO S.p.A. and as of the filing the company listed assets and liabilities of $1m to $10m.

Petition

Declaration

 

 

 

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