Though J.C. Penney hasn't yet recovered from its roller coaster year (CEO Ron Johnson was outed earlier this month after his ambitious restructuring plans failed to see immediate results), the retailer has found an important cheerleader (a lifeline even?) in investor and philanthropist George Soros.
American Apparel may have just gotten another credit lifeline, but that doesn't neccesarily mean the brand's been saved. Earlier this week, American Apparel got an $80 million lifeline from George Soros-backed Crystal Financial LLC and and Salus Capital Partners LLC. The company has managed to consistently avoid bankruptcy with these sort of 11th hour cash injections and loans; and while they may be buying time, retail analysts say it's not enough to save the company, which is still over $100 million in debt and has $185 million in excess inventories. According to WWD, their new deal comes with a high interest rate of 9.5%, so that debt's not going to go away any time soon. The trade asked several retail industry insiders to give their perspectives on Charney and co.'s current situation. Most of them aren't very optimistic.
How American Apparel manages to receive huge amounts of capital from investors seemingly every year, yet still remain on the edge of bankruptcy, is a mystery we'll never be able to solve. Last year, as you may recall, the company was spared bankruptcy just in the nick of time by a group of Canadian investors who supplied Dov Charney & co. with a $15 million cash injection, with the option to receive $28 million over six months. This was a little less than a year ago and evidently, the company is already strapped for cash again, and, of course, there's an investment firm ready to give them lots of it. $80 million in credit, to be exact. The New York Post is reporting that a firm backed by 81-year-old billionaire George Soros (left) intends to extend a nearly $80 million line of credit to the Los Angeles-based retailer.