Retailer Steve & Barry’s Snapped Up for $168M

BH S&B Holdings L.L.C. will acquire retailer Steve & Barry’s after being named the high bidder in an auction for the company’s assets. BH S&B Holdings, a new affiliate of Bay Harbour Management, was the winning bidder in an auction that ended on Aug. 21 with a bid of $168 million. BH S&B will reportedly look to close around 100 stores, with more possible if the firm cannot reach acceptable lease concessions from landlords. The deal is expected to be completed on Aug. 25. Terms of the purchase encompass all of Steve & Barry’s existing leases, inventory and intellectual property copyrights. Key facilities included in the transaction include the firm’s headquarters in Port Washington, N.Y., and a distribution center in Columbus, Ohio. BH S&B Holdings will also acquire various overseas offices. The new company will also retain its relationships with celebrities and their brands with the firm. Steve & Barry’s co-founders Steve Shore and Barry Prevor are investors in BH S&B Holdings. The two sides had agreed to the framework of a deal earlier in the month in a “stalking horse” agreement worked out with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The final sale of the company’s assets to BH S&B is subject to Court approval. BH S&B Holdings believes that a refocused management will revive the firm, which had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July. “There’s a fundamentally strong business model at Steve & Barry’s that just needs some fine-tuning to get it back on a growth track in order to reach its full potential,” Bay Harbour’s managing principal Douglas Teitelbaum stated in a release. Steve & Barry’s reported annual sales of $656.6 million dollars in 2007. Bay Harbour has experience in purchasing and turning around the fortunes of troubled companies. The firm purchased Aladdin’s Casino on the Las Vegas Strip, and rebranded it successfully as the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino where it has enjoyed a substantial turnaround in its success.