Maurice enters bankruptcy: creditors named
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One of North America’s largest distributors of fishing gear has filed for bankruptcy in a move designed to facilitate its takeover.
Troubled Maurice Sporting Goods, which is said to owe creditors up to $100million, has announced that it has reached an agreement to sell its assets to private investment firm, Middleton Partners, a company with a history of investing in distribution and consumer-based businesses.
A list of creditors, which is topped by Normark (owed $1.47m) and Shimano North America (over $900,000) has been released and is published below.
The company and its subsidiaries filed its voluntary petition for reorganisation under Chapter 11 in the US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, Wilmington.
Middleton Partners, the Northbrook, Illinois company, has signed a letter of intent to purchase Maurice as a strategic buyer and is currently finalising an Asset Purchase Agreement. In accordance with the US Bankruptcy Code, other companies will have an opportunity to submit competing offers for the assets. The transaction is expected to be completed within 30 to 45 days.
“We are extemely pleased that Middleton Partners is going to purchase the assets of Maurice and continue our strategic vision and customer and vendor relationships,” said Jory Katlin, Maurice President and Chief Executive Officer.
“It has been a challenging couple of years, but I am excited that we have found the right partner to strengthen the company’s balance sheet and unleash new funding to fuel future growth.”
The asset sales follows significant measure taken by Maurice during the last two years to address liquidity concerns, including reducing operating costs, selling non-core assets and improving processes. The Chapter 11 reorganisation and sales process will have no impact on Maurice’s daily operations or its ability to fulfil its obligations to customers and employees.
“Acquiring the assets of Maurice aligns with our mission of investing in high potential companies that need a financial and strategic partner to achieve their objectives,” said Keith Jaffee, a principal at Middleton Partners.
Maurice also announced that it has received a commitment for up to $20 million in debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing from its bank group. This will be used to maintain uninterrupted service and delivery of Maurice products to its customers during the completion of the sale process and to ensure payment to vendors for post-petition purchases.
Tackle manufacturers owed include:
- Normark — $1.47 million
- Shimano North America —$991,181
- Gary Yamamoto—$967,174
- Pautzke Bait Co. — $838,717
- Z-Man Fishing Products — $830,478
- Gamakatsu — $814,058
- Panther Martin — $813,959
- Zoom Bait Co. — $793,413
- Sheldon’s Inc. (Mepps) — $770,687
- Hard and Soft Fishing — $747,026
- Pure Fishing (USA) — $736,750
- Pure Fishing (Canada) — $721,649
- Leland Lures — $691,889
- TTI Blakemore — $681,986
- Atlas Mike’s Salmon Eggs — $610,034
- Mustad — $566,626
- Rapala USA — $539,495