Claire's jewelry chain files for bankruptcy

Walden Galleria

Claire's Accessories has filed for bankruptcy protection in the USA, in a bid to bring down its debt by $1.9bn (£1.4bn).

Members of anAd Hoc Group of First Lien Creditors have agreed to provide the company with approximately $575 million of new capital, including financing commitments for a new $75 million asset-based lending facility, a new $250 million first lien term loan, and $250 million as a preferred equity investment.

According to Monday's press release, the company plans to pursue a financial restructuring to a eliminate a "substantial portion of debt" from its balance sheet.

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Claire's is owned by private equity firm Apollo Global Management, which paid 3.1 billion USA dollars for the company in 2007.

The move has Claire's following other recent bankruptcies by USA retailers including toy seller Toys "R" Us, athletic gear seller the Sports Authority and kids clothing chain Gymboree.

Claire's Stores is the latest victim of declining traffic at USA malls.

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Claire's hired Lazard in January to advise on its debt load, which had reached around $2bn.

Claire's expects to complete the Chapter 11 process in September. It held $2.1 billion in debt at the end of 2017.

The company sells its products at more than 7,500 locations in 45 countries around the world. It said it can compete with the shift to online shopping, arguing that its "iconic ear piercing services are unmatched and cannot be replicated online".

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