May 19, 2019
Florida-based private equity owned Hollander Sleep Products LLC and six affiliates (including one Canadian affiliate) have filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in the Southern District of New York. The debtors are “the largest bed pillow and mattress pad manufacturer in North America.” The debtors produce pillows, comforters and mattress pads for the likes of Ralph Lauren, Simmons, Beautyrest, Nautica and Calvin Klein; their products are available at major retailers like Costco Wholesale Corporation ($COST), Kohl’s Corporation ($KSS), Walmart Inc. ($WMT) and Target Inc. ($TGT) and with the Marriott International Inc. ($MAR) chain of hotels; they have a main showroom in New York City, nine manufacturing facilities throughout the US and Canada, and a sourcing, product development and quality control office in China. Speaking of China, 60% of the debtors’ top 10 creditors are Chinese companies.
Why bankruptcy? Interestingly, the debtors colorfully ask, “How Did We Get Here?” And the answer appears to be a combination of (a) “[r]ecent substantial price increases on materials” like fiber, down and feathers, (b) acquisition integration costs, (c) too much competition in a low margin space, (d) employee wage increases “as a result of natural wage inflation and the tight job market” and (e) too much leverage. The debtors burned through $20mm in the last year on material cost increases alone (it opted NOT to pass price increases on to the consumer), straining liquidity to the point that, at the time of filing, the company had less than $1mm of cash on hand.
With the filing, the debtors seek to restructure approximately $166.5mm of term debt, effectuating a debt-for-equity swap in the new reorganized entity (plus participation in a $30mm exit facility). 100% of the debtors’ term lenders support the plan. As does lender and equity sponsor, Sentinel Capital Partners LLC. That doesn’t necessarily mean, however, that they truly want to own the post-reorg company. Indeed, the debtors have indicated that while they march towards plan confirmation (which they say will be in four months), they will also entertain the possibility of a sale of the company to a third-party. These dual-track chapter 11 cases are all the rage these days, see, e.g., Shopko.
If approved by the bankruptcy court, the bankruptcy will be funded by a $118mm DIP credit facility which will infuse the debtors with $28mm in incremental new money and roll-up the debtors’ prepetition asset-backed first priority credit facility.
The debtors note that “the sleep industry as a whole is both healthy and growing. Market trends favor healthy lifestyle sectors, and the basic bedding segment is generally recession resilient.” We have no quibble with either comment. The company believes that by, among other things, (i) delevering its balance sheet, (ii) gaining access to new capital, (iii) engaging in selective price increases, (iv) implementing material efficiencies, (v) streamlining manufacturing, and (vi) building out their e-commerce channel, it will have a more sustainable path forward. Whether that path will be taken at the direction of their lenders or a strategic buyer remains to be seen.
Jurisdiction: S.D. of New York (Judge Wiles)
Capital Structure: $125mm ABL ($43mm funded), $166.5mm term loan
Legal: Kirkland & Ellis LLP (Joshua Sussberg, Christopher Greco, Joseph Graham, Andrew McGaan, Laura Krucks)
Board of Directors: Eric Bommer, Michael Fabian, Steve Cumbow, Chris Baker
Disinterested Director: Matthew Kahn
Legal: Proskauer Rose LLP
Financial Advisor: Carl Marks Advisory Group LLC (Mark Pfefferle)
Investment Banker: Houlihan Lokey Capital Inc. (Saul Burian)
Claims Agent: Omni Management Group (*click on the link above for free docket access)
Other Parties in Interest:
Prepetition and ($90mm) DIP ABL Agent: Wells Fargo Bank NA
Legal: Goldberg Kohn Ltd. (Randall Klein, Prisca Kim) & (local) Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP (Laura Metzger, Peter Amend)
($28mm) DIP Term Loan Agent: