Rockport has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
The Rockport Company is on the selling block — again.
The 50-year-old footwear brand has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as it looks to “restructure its assets for the benefit of all stakeholders and to better position the brand for future growth opportunities.” The company's subsidiaries CB Marathon Midco, LLC; Rockport IP Holdings, LLC; Rockport UK Holdings Ltd.; and CB Footwear Services, LLC also joined in the filing.
Rockport also intends to file a motion seeking authorization to pursue an auction and sale process under Section 363 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The proposed bidding procedures, if approved by the court, would require interested parties to submit binding offers to acquire Rockport’s assets. The company said it has entered into negotiations with a potential purchaser, “who has significant experience in the industry,” to serve as a stalking horse bidder.
Gregg Ribatt has resigned as CEO, but will be available to assist in an orderly transition. Joseph Marchese of PKF Clear Thinking has been appointed chief restructuring officer of Rockport. He brings deep experience in managing complex financial and operational restructurings, including providing interim management services to preserve and maximize value, the company said.
Rockport previously filed for bankruptcy in May 2019. with an eye to being acquired. Most of its assets were sold in August of that year for $150 million to an affiliate of Charlesbank Capital Partners, which was the only bidder for the company. Rockport closed all its stores and shifted its focus to e-commerce and wholesale channels.
“The immediate relief of Chapter 11 is appropriate to provide the company the opportunity to assess the situation and develop a process to maximize value recoveries for all stakeholders,” said Marchese. “Rockport has valuable assets that can be effectively administered in an organized joint process. I want to assure every employee, customer, creditor, contract party, investor and other stakeholders that we are going to conduct this effort with diligence, thoroughness and transparency.”
Rockport listed liabilities and assets of $50 million to $100 million and said it owes its top five creditors– all vendors or suppliers — nearly $47 million, according to the bankruptcy petition. The retailer also has nearly $100 million in funded debt obligations, with roughly $61 million of it due in August.
The company anticipates operating “business as usual” during the Chapter 11 process and customers should see no disruption in service or product quality. Subject to court approval, Rockport will operate utilizing debtor-in-possession (“DIP”) financing, which will provide it with sufficient liquidity to continue its operations during the Chapter 11 case and related sale process.
Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP is serving as legal advisors to the company in connection with the Chapter 11 proceedings.
Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Inc. and its affiliate Miller Buckfire & Co., LLC are serving as Rockport’s investment banker and PKF Clear Thinking as its restructuring advisor.
Court filings and other information related to the Court-supervised proceedings are available at a website administered by the Company’s claims agent, Epiq, at https://dm.epiq11.com/Rockport.