The Wall Street Journal reported today that a bidding war might take place for Furniture Brands International's Lane Furniture business. New York privaten equity firm KPS Capital Partners, which specializes in distressed manufacturers, is interested in the St. Louis-based furniture manufacturer so long as it's not going to be liquidated.
Furniture Brands filed for Chapter 11 earlier this week and plans to sell all assets except Lane to Oaktree for $166 million.
KPS offered an alternative financing package to Oaktree Capital Management's proposed $140 million bankruptcy loan. As a result, Oaktree agreed to cut the interest rate, fees and milestones with respect to the bankruptcy loan.
The judge granted interim approval to Oaktree's $140 million financing package but left consideration of its deal to buy Furniture Brands for next month. In the meantime, Furniture Brands will likely embark on a new marketing process for its business.
Furniture Brands owes $92 million to Wells Fargo & Co., Bank of America Corp. and General Electric Co. unit GE Capital and more than $200 million in unpaid pension obligations. The company employs about 9,000 people in the U.S. and abroad.