New York’s Iconic ABC Carpet & Home Faces Lender Takeover
(Bloomberg) -- Lenders to ABC Carpet & Home, the more than century-old New York luxury home goods retailer, are mulling a distressed takeover of the company after financial hits from Covid-19 and real estate problems left it unable to pay its bills, according to people familiar with the plans.
An offer last year from private-equity firm MHR Fund Management fell through this April after reaching advanced stages, said the people, who asked not to be named because discussions are private. An investor group with experience in home and carpet retailing may take over the company through a bankruptcy filing or an out-of-court restructuring, one of the people said.
New York-based ABC Carpet & Home, which is working with advisers from B. Riley Financial Inc. and Greenberg Traurig, has been seeking new financing or a buyer for over a year since the planned private-equity sale fell through, the people said. The New York Post first reported that the company was weighing a bankruptcy filing.
The company’s popular restaurant business, including ABC Kitchen, wouldn’t be affected by a restructuring, the people said.
“We are actively engaged in an advanced process with strategic investors that will allow us to continue our legacy of providing our customers with a unique home furnishing shopping experience,” a representative for ABC said in a statement.
A representative for B. Riley declined to comment, and a spokesman for Greenberg Traurig didn’t immediately comment.
ABC, known for wares like $6,900 rugs and $1,480 coffee tables, lost revenue when many of the affluent locals who made up the core of its business fled New York during the pandemic. For those who remained, a prolonged renovation of its store near Union Square made access difficult.
Since the company didn’t have a robust online business, it lost out on the shift to e-commerce that accelerated during the pandemic.
The company traces its roots to the late 1800s, when Austrian immigrant Samuel Weinrib started the business from a pushcart on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. His great-granddaughter Paulette Cole helped build its red-brick building on Broadway into the high-end destination for designers and decorators and their affluent clients.
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