Welcome back to The Spin! Today, there is a strong focus on the different methods that highly leveraged retailers employ to tackle their debt burdens. We also take a first look at the new logo of Germany's Karstadt/Kaufhof joint-venture, and reveal how the animal rights organization Peta has turned itself into a serious fashion influencer. Cheers, Ulrike


Buying time. The majority of Neiman Marcus’ lenders and note holders have preliminarily agreed (paywall) to extend the company’s debt maturities, giving the luxury retailer additional time to overhaul its $4.6 billion of borrowings. The deal will extend the maturity date of a term loan to 2023. In addition, the maturity of unsecured notes, for which the company plans an exchange offer, was extended to 2024.

Liquid sky. Ascena Retail Group, which is among twelve endangered US retailers, is selling (press release) a majority stake in its fashion discounter Maurices Inc to an affiliate of OpCapita LLP. The deal, which is valued at $300 million, should strengthen Ascena’s balance sheet and liquidity. Shareholders like the idea, sending the stock up more than 15 percent upon the news.

Tug of war. In a bigger-than-anticipated deal with lenders and bond holders, debt-ridden British retailer Debenhams has secured a £200 million cash injection to fend off a takeover attempt by Mike Ashely’s Sports Direct. According to Ashley, whose £100 million offer of Debenhams’ Danish subsidiary Magasin Du Nord was also rejected, Debenhams’ rescue plan is not workable. Through Sports Direct, Ashley owns 29.7 percent in Debenhams.

Together yours. As reported, the joint-venture between HBC’s Galeria Kaufhof and Signa’s Karstadt has been named Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof. Although not officially introduced yet, the new blue-fade-to-green logo is already displayed (paywall; translated by Google) in shop windows and on the homepages of Kaufhof and Karstadt. According to Kaufhof’s website the re-branding will include new products, offering the best of both worlds with the new slogan "Wir sind zusammen Deins" - together we are yours...


So long, Paul Surridge. As rumored (paywall), Roberto Cavalli's creative director Paul Surridge is leaving the position after less then two years. The British designer confirmed his departure from the Florence-based brand via Instagram, announcing his intention to focus on other projects. Surridge previously worked for Acne Studios, Z Zegna, Jil Sander, Burberry and Calvin Klein. Meanwhile, Roberto Cavalli might want to consider an overhaul of its dated aesthetics, possibly with a female creative…

From Adler to Appelrath. Lothar Schäfer, former CEO of Adler Modemärkte AG, has been named (paywall; translated by Google) CEO of German women’s fashion chain AppelrathCüpper. On April 1, he’ll succeed Frank Rheinboldt, who’s leaving the company after eleven years. Schäfer, who left Adler in April 2017, was most recently a VP and board member at Aurelius Portfolio Management AG. OpCapita has invested in the Cologne-based company since 2016. AppelrathCüpper (paywall; translated by Google) operates 15 stores and employs 900 people.


The real influencer. Peta has started to buy shares in clothing companies to influence apparel design and production processes. The US-based animal rights group just purchased stock of the newly listed jeans giant Levi’s, hoping to push the company to ditch their leather patches for vegan alternatives. Peta also bought shares in Boohoo in an attempt to convince the British online retailer to stand by its original decision to ban wool.


Cheap influence. The majority of British influencers charge less than £251 per post, with eight percent not even asking for any payment at all. Eleven percent of 787 influencers surveyed by Canterbury Church University and software specialist Vuelio are paid between £251 and £500, while only two percent actually make more than £1,000 per post.


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