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Nine West Exits Bankruptcy With a New Name and a Fresh Balance Sheet

DSW becoming Designer Brands is yesterday’s news—now Nine West has a new name too.

After applying for bankruptcy protection nearly a full year ago, Nine West has come out of the process with a new name, new ownership and a new business plan.

To start, the company formerly known as Nine West Holdings Inc. will now be referred to as Premier Brands Group. After auctioning off its Nine West footwear and handbag assets to ABG for $340 million in June 2018, this new organization will be composed of One Jeanswear Group, The Jewelry Group, Kasper Group and Anne Klein.

The Nine West IP will find a new home at Kohl’s, beginning in July of this year.

“We committed at the beginning of this process to emerge with the financial foundation necessary to continue the growth trajectories of our One Jeanswear Group, The Jewelry Group, Kasper Group and Anne Klein businesses—and we are pleased to have accomplished that goal,” Ralph Schipani, CEO of Premier Brands Group said in a statement. “We have terrific platforms and an intense focus on leveraging their potential, including through new brand licenses and new domestic and international partnerships.”

These new changes come alongside a financial and operational restructuring via Premier Brands’ new leadership, now led by majority equity owners CVC Credit and Brigade Capital. In a statement announcing the changes, Premier Brands Group said that it will work to move forward with a “right-sized capital structure, streamlined operational footprint, profitable and growing wholesale and licensing businesses and proven management teams.”

To assist with that, the group says it has over $100 million in liquid funds, collected as a result of “successfully syndicated exit financing facilities” supplied by Wells Fargo and Goldman Sachs, that will help support its future growth initiatives and reinvigorate its current operation.

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“In addition, over the past year we have successfully reduced our pre-bankruptcy debt obligations by more than $1 billion and have completed a significant operational restructuring following the sale of our Nine West and Bandolino footwear and handbag businesses,” Schipani continued. “This successful outcome would not have been possible without the commitment of our associates and their dedication to our high quality, high service culture.”

Reports concerning the former company’s financial troubles began surfacing in January 2018. After months of speculation, Nine West Holdings Inc. officially filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April of that year and has been in flux ever since, especially after parting ways with the Nine West brand.

Premier Brands will forge on without those assets and will instead look to strengthen its wholesale apparel partnerships. Looking to forge a way into the future, Premier Brands’ CEO thanked longtime supporters of its previous incarnation in a final sendoff.

“I would also like to thank our long-term customers and vendors for their loyalty and support,” Schipani concluded. “We look forward to strengthening these important partnerships as Premier Brands Group enters its next chapter of growth and continues to build on its position as a preferred wholesale partner to the world’s leading global retailers.”