Massive Retailer Now Makes A Surprising Comeback After Bankruptcy

A massive retailer now makes a surprising comeback after having filed for bankruptcy, cutting $2 billion in debt.

A U.S. bankruptcy judge on Friday approved Rite Aid’s restructuring plan, which allowed the pharmacy chain to cut $2 billion in debt and turn over control of the company to a group of its lenders.

Rite Aid’s bankruptcy plan was approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Michael Kaplan at a court hearing in Trenton, New Jersey, saying that the restructuring had saved the company from having to shut down and liquidate operations.

Rite Aid, which had over 2,000 stores when it filed for bankruptcy in October, will now emerge from bankruptcy with about 1,300 remaining locations after closing hundreds of stores and selling its pharmacy benefit company Elixir.

Using its bankruptcy, Rite Aid was able to negotiate settlements with its lenders, its drug distribution partner McKesson and other creditors that included individuals and governments that have sued it for allegedly contributing to the deadly U.S. opioid epidemic, reports CNBC.

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Also Read: Another Mall Clothing Retailer Now At High Risk of Bankruptcy

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Market News Today - Massive Retailer Now Makes A Surprising Comeback After Bankruptcy.
Market News Today – Massive Retailer Now Makes A Surprising Comeback After Bankruptcy.

An essential company now files a surprising bankruptcy after miscalculating demand for its inventory after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Supply Source Enterprises, a leading provider of branded and private label cleaning products and personal protective equipment, on May 21 filed for Chapter 11 protection to seek a sale of its assets.

Supply Source brands include The Safety Zone and Impact Products.

The Guilford, Connecticut debtor listed $50 million to $100 million in assets in its petition and $180 million in funded debt, which includes $80 million owed on a term loan credit facility, $60 million owed on an asset-based loan, and about $40 million in unsecured debt.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, which generated huge demand for cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment in 2020, Supply Source had been consistently profitable with stable single-digit growth, according to a declaration from the debtor’s Chief Restructuring Officer Thomas Studebaker.

Once the pandemic hit in 2020, the debtor had substantial growth due to high demand for safety, hygiene and sanitation products

The debtor reported adjusted Ebitda of $93 million in 2020 which was nearly a 300% increase over the previous year.

However, the company’s financial performance deteriorated in subsequent years.

Based on the unprecedented demand in 2020, the company commissioned an industry study in early 2021 that concluded that the Covid-19 pandemic would fundamentally change the cleaning supplies and protective equipment industry and market for its products.

The study also estimated that the company’s Covid-related growth would likely be sustained through 2024.

In contemplation of continued customer demand at elevated prices, based on the study’s data, the debtor increased purchases of inventory even though the costs were higher due to supply chain constraints during the pandemic.

Despite the study’s assurance that growth would be sustained for years, the pandemic’s positive effect on the market faded by the end of 2021 and demand for PPE decreased to normal rates, reports TheStreet.

The reduction in demand led to large amounts of excess inventory that the company could not sell in the same quantities and prices.

The excess inventory forced the debtor to secure additional storage space, which increased storage costs.

These factors tightened the company’s liquidity and led to a decline in annual revenue in 2023 by 26% from 2022, resulting in a negative 2023 Ebitda of $13 million.

The debtor’s liquidity issues led to it being overdrawn on its asset-based loan facility by $30 million.

The ABL lender in February 2024 swept the debtor’s bank accounts, further impacting the company’s financial distress.

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