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KPS gets nod over Oaktree Capital as stalking horse bidder for Furniture Brands

WILMINGTON, Del.  — KPS Capital Partners has emerged as the stalking horse bidder in the bankruptcy case of Furniture Brands International, pushing aside an earlier bid by Oaktree Capital Management that was backed by FBI.

On Wednesday, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Sontchi approved KPS as stalking horse bidder and as a replacement for debtor-in-possession financing in FBI's Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to officials with Cohen Tauber Spievack & Wagner P.C.

The news comes as a surprise because FBI had wanted Oaktree as its stalking horse bidder and DIP financing provider.

Oaktree will be paid for interim DIP financing and related fees, according to Robert Boghosian, a partner with Cohen Tauber who was at Wednesday's hearing.

KPS emerged last week as top stalking horse bidder for FBI with a $280 million offer that was $20 million higher than a revised offer from Oaktree Capital Management. The KPS bid was also backed by a committee of unsecured creditors.

Other bidders would still be able to submit bids for FBI's assets. According to Boghosian, bids are due by Dec. 5, and a court-supervised auction will be held Dec. 10, if necessary. A hearing to confirm the sale is set for Dec. 12.

Further details of the KPS bid were not immediately available. In its offer last week, KPS indicated interest in the transaction if Lane continues operations. KPS said it would not participate in any future auction if it is not the stalking horse bidder.

"The actions of the debtor since the petition date have evidenced to Lane employees, customer and vendors the intention to liquidate Lane," the KPS proposal letter said.

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Also see Creditors support $280M KPS bid for Furniture Brands assets

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