Footwear manufacturer the Rockport Group announced an asset purchase agreement with CB Marathon Opco, an affiliate of Charlesbank Equity Fund IX, in which Charlsbank will acquire all of Rockport’s assets.
The agreement covers the sale of Rockport’s global wholesale assets, e-commerce platform and retail operations in Asia and Europe.
As part of the deal, Rockport will expand its business in the retail landscape by merging its operations, as well as leveraging the financial strength, consumer expertise and support of Charlesbank.
Following the acquisition, the footwear company will focus on global wholesale, independent retail and e-commerce operations.
Rockport and its subsidiaries in the US and Canada have filed voluntary petitions under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code in the US Bankruptcy Court for Delaware to facilitate the sale.
As part of the transaction, which is subject to higher bid offers as well as other conditions, Charlesbank will serve as the ‘stalking horse bidder’ in a court-supervised sale process.
Charlesbank will also have the opportunity to evaluate and pursue an acquisition of Rockport’s North American retail operations as part of the agreement.
In addition, Charlesbank is seeking court approval to close certain North American retail stores, which are not acquired by it or another party.
During the sale process, Rockport will continue to operate its business by enabling customers to shop for its brands.
The footwear company’s brands are currently available at department stores and speciality retailers globally, as well as at its e-commerce platform and select retail locations.
To maintain its operations, Rockport received $20m in new-money debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing from its existing noteholders.
The footwear retailer also filed a series of first day motions that will help the company to pay employee wages and benefits, honour customer commitments and manage its operations through the sale process.