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David’s Bridal sold to investment firm; to keep some stores open

David’s Bridal has been acquired by asset manager Cion Investment Corp.
David’s Bridal has been acquired by asset manager Cion Investment Corp.

A bankruptcy judge approved the sale of David’s Bridal to asset manager Cion Investment Corp. in a deal that will keep the chain up and running, but in a downsized fashion.

Under the terms of the no-cash transaction, whose terms were not disclosed, the bankrupt wedding dress and special occasion retailer will reportedly keep 195 stores open. Cion has also agreed to pay costs related to renewing or breaking leases at stores, and professional fees incurred during bankruptcy, reported Reuters, citing court documents. The sale also reduced the company's overall debt to about $50 million from its previous level of $256.9 million.

David’s Bridal filed for bankruptcy for the second time in five years in April.  At the time, the retailer said it was evaluating its physical footprint to “maximize value and the prospect of a successful going concern transaction.”  At the time, the retailer had about 300 stores across the U.S., Canada, U.K., and franchise locations in Mexico.

David's Bridal has been looking for a buyer that would preserve its business since February.  But apart from the Cion bid,  the company only received two bids whose offers were for the chain’s brand name and intellectual property, but not its stores or inventory, Reuters reported, and neither offered more than $250,000 in cash.

During the last couple of years, David’s Bridal has updated its offerings and marketing and put a new focus on its omnichannel capabilities. In September 2022, the retailer entered into a partnership with Little Tuxedos, an online destination that offers suits and formalwear for boys in sizes 6 months to 20H. The deal with Little Tuxedos, which will have a dedicated presence in select David's stores, builds off its existing partnership with The Black Tux, which supplies men's suits and formalwear for rent and purchase.

“We have successfully modernized our marketing and customer interaction processes and driven our retail service levels to best in class,” said CEO David Marcum in April. “Nonetheless, our business continues to be challenged by the post-COVID environment and uncertain economic conditions, leading us to take this step to identify a buyer who can continue to operate our business going forward. We are determined to stay focused on our future, because we believe we have an important role in ensuring that every bride, no matter her budget, can have her perfect dress."


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