Thursday, June 1, 2017

Bain Doubles Down on Risky Gymboree Bet Even as Bankruptcy Looms

GymboreeFrom the outset, Bain Capital was smitten with Gymboree Corp. The private equity firm was convinced the children’s apparel retailer was recession-proof -- a great brand with lots of growth potential. So in 2010, Bain outbid shops including Apollo Global Management LLC to acquire the company for the hefty sum of $1.7 billion.

Seven years later, on the eve of a bankruptcy filing that people familiar with the matter have said could come from Gymboree as soon as June, Bain executives seem reluctant to give up on their big bet. They’ve snatched up Gymboree bonds as a way to retain a strong position in any revival, according to a person familiar with the matter. And just last week the company named a new chief executive officer with deep retail experience, who is charged with formulating a turnaround strategy.
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