Nearly six weeks after filing for bankruptcy, storied Manhattan retailer ABC Carpet & Home has found a buyer. According to court papers, the company was sold on Friday to an investment fund called 888 Capital Partners.
The fund had been identified in the initial bankruptcy filing as a stalking horse bidder for the beleaguered ABC (it also loaned the retailer $5.7 million to continue operations during the proceedings). The sale came after an auction scheduled for Friday was canceled as 888 Capital Partners reportedly submitted the only offer to buy the company. The price of the acquisition has not been disclosed, though the terms of the stalking horse bid were a $15 million credit bid plus $300,000 in cash and various assumed liabilities.
“This acquisition by 888 Capital will help us expand our reach, attracting new customers as well as providing exciting merchandise for our loyal following. It’s a next chapter for ABC Carpet & Home, and we look forward to an exciting future,” CEO Aaron Rose tells BOH.
When the retailer filed for Chapter 11 in September, it cited more than $80 million in debt to creditors and pinned the financial distress on the pandemic and the brand’s slow adoption of e-commerce. “Business operations have been severely impacted by the pandemic, including government-mandated store closures, fulfillment issues due to supply chain shortages, production delays, and delays in return to work for nearby commercial office spaces,” Rose wrote in an affidavit at the time.
The company has begun liquidating some of its inventory, with much of its merchandise now discounted up to 50 percent.
888 Capital Partners is reportedly controlled by Regal Investments LLC, which the New York Post reports as being run by Iranian rug merchants, a statement that an ABC spokesperson refuted, instead saying that the fund is made up of “a consortium of investors with multigenerational experience in home goods and consumer products.” Paulette Cole, whose great-grandfather founded the company that would become ABC Carpet & Home in the late 1800s out of a pushcart, is a minority stakeholder in 888 Capital Partners.
The ABC spokesperson also told the Post, “888 Capital Partners plans to continue ABC Carpet and Home’s legacy as a premier destination for home goods of all kinds. Their vision includes offering a broad selection of merchandise featuring home furnishings, lighting, linens, tableware and other items in addition to carpeting.”
Homepage photo: Courtesy of ABC Carpet & Home