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Report: Rue21 to be Retail’s 15th Bankruptcy of 2017

Rue21 could file for bankruptcy as early as next week.

Little more than two weeks after the teen retailer announced it would close 400 locations, the Wall Street Journal is reporting the chain is in negotiations with its lenders.

Neither Rue21 nor its private equity backer Apax Partners have commented but the paper references sources close to the matter.

One source said Rue21 recently obtained a one-week extension on a forbearance agreement after missing an interest payment in April.

The sources say the retailer is looking to its term loan lenders to fund a debtor-in-possession loan, which it will use to pay legal fees and operating expenses through the bankruptcy.

The company is reportedly currently saddled with a $538 million term loan, which is due in 2020, a $150 million asset-based loan which matures in 2018 and $250 million in bond debt that matures in 2021.

The publication also reports the company recently appointed former Wet Seal CEO Melanie Cox as chief executive.

In a recent S&P Global Market Intelligence report, the credit rating agency lists apparel firms as the third most likely retailers to default behind department stores and electronics shops. So far this year, Payless, Gordmans, BCBG, Wet Seal and The Limited have all filed for bankruptcy. There have been 14 retail bankruptcies this year, just two fewer than there were in all of 2016.