Neiman Marcus Kicks The Can Down The Road. So Now What?

by MR Magazine Staff

Yesterday brought two big pieces of Neiman Marcus news. The day started with the announcement that the company had successfully extended the maturities on some $4.6 billion in debt. Then a few hours later Neiman’s reported quarterly results, which were both disappointing and concerning. After six consecutive quarters of growth, comparable sales were down 1.5% and the luxury retailer posted a net loss of $31.2 million for the quarter. This compares to a net loss of $19.9 million a year earlier. Restructuring the company’s debt provides important breathing room. When the company went through its second private equity-led leveraged buyout in 2013 (note: I was the head of strategy and multichannel marketing during the first in 2005), the new owners clearly overpaid and saddled the company with interest payments that constrain the company’s ability to execute a long overdue transformation. In recent months, as maturities loomed, Neiman’s tepid performance and crushing debt load made it impossible to go public or get bought-out at a price that wouldn’t devastate current equity and bondholders’ interests. Read more at Forbes.