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Companies You Didn’t Think Could Go Bankrupt Are Doing So These Days

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In the post-COVID-19 era (whenever that may be), there are companies such as airlines, hotels, and anything travel-related that are obviously going to have a tough time staying afloat.  The only place that people are visiting during this time is the supermarket, but that did not stop Fairway Market from going under. “Tri-state grocery chain Fairway Market filed on January 23 and announced it was selling up to five New York City stores and its distribution center to Village Super Market for $70 million.”  If grocery stores are failing... what else is vulnerable?

Coronavirus Bankruptcy Tracker: These Major Companies Are Failing Amid The Shutdown

Some of the biggest names in corporate America are in danger of going the way of Sears, Blockbuster and RadioShack.

The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the demise of companies that were already in trouble as Americans (and their dollars) stay home amid lockdowns and economic shutdowns. Oil and gas drillers like Whiting Petroleum and Diamond Offshore filed for bankruptcy in late April, and J.Crew became the first major U.S. retailer to do the same on May 4. More are on the way.

“It has been a poorly-kept secret that a number of the big-box retailers were struggling,” says Scott Williams, a bankruptcy attorney at RumbergerKirk. “There has not been a dramatic uptick in the last 45 days. What I think you’ve seen is lots of people being forced into, ‘I’m going to get there at some point.’”

Bankruptcy isn’t a death sentence. Companies that file Chapter 11 bankruptcy negotiate with creditors to restructure debt terms. (Those that file Chapter 7 are typically liquidating assets and calling it quits.) General Motors GM went insolvent during the last financial crisis in 2009 and regained its footing and profitability as America’s largest automaker. Delta, United UAL and American Airlines AAL have all endured bankruptcy reorganizations in the last two decades.

Here are the major companies (47) with at least 500 employees that have filed for bankruptcy in 2020.

  1. Apex Parks Group, which had to close its 12 entertainment centers and water parks due to the pandemic, filed for a Chapter 11 reorganization on April 8.
  2. Art Van Furniture, a midwestern retailer with 176 locations, filed on March 8. As the economic crisis worsened, it converted its Chapter 11 reorganization to a Chapter 7 liquidation in early April.
  3. Bar Louie, a nationwide gastropub chain, filed on January 27 after closing 38 of its locations, leaving less than 100 remaining.
  4. Bluestem Brands, the parent company of seven e-commerce subsidiaries, filed on March 9.
  5. Borden Dairy followed competitor Dean Foods DF into bankruptcy on January 5, aiming to reduce its debt load while continuing normal operations.
  6. British rent-to-own operation BrightHouse entered administration—the equivalent of a bankruptcy process—on March 30, immediately halting all new rent-to-own and cash loan lending activities.
  7. U.K.-based Italian restaurant chain Carluccio’s entered administration on March 30, shortly after its 73 locations were required to close.
  8. CMX Cinemas, a movie theater chain that also owns dine-in restaurants and bars, filed on April 25 with all 41 of its theaters closed nationwide during the pandemic.
  9. Fast casual restaurant chain Cosi filed for Chapter 11 on February 24 for the second time since 2016 after shuttering 30 of its locations in December.
  10. Restaurant franchisor CraftWorks filed on March 3 to reduce its debt by more than $140 million shortly after closing about 10% of its locations.
  11. Dean & DeLuca, a luxury grocery store chain with 42 locations until it started downsizing in recent years, filed on April 1.
  12. British fashion retailer Debenhams, which employs more than 20,000 people, entered administration on April 6 for the second time in the last year as it struggled to stay afloat with its stores closed. It is liquidating its business in Ireland, permanently closing its 11 stores there.
  13. Diamond Offshore Drilling sought bankruptcy protection on April 27 after skipping a payment to bondholders. It had billions of dollars of debt even before oil prices plunged in recent weeks.
  14. Earth Fare, a North Carolina-based organic grocery chain, filed on February 4, a day after announcing it was closing all of its stores and liquidating its inventory.
  15. South African retailer Edcon filed for business rescue on April 29, announcing that it had lost 2 billion rand in sales—equivalent to more than $100 million—due to coronavirus.
  16. Tri-state grocery chain Fairway Market filed on January 23 and announced it was selling up to five New York City stores and its distribution center to Village Super Market for $70 million.
  17. British airline Flybe, one of Europe’s largest regional carriers, entered administration and grounded all flights on March 5.
  18. Foodora, a food delivery app that is a subsidiary of Berlin-based Delivery Hero, filed for insolvency in Canada on April 27 and announced it’s ceasing operations in the country on May 11.
  19. St. Louis-based coal miner Foresight Energy filed on March 10 with $1.4 billion in debt.
  20. Frontier Communications FTR, one of America’s largest telecom companies, filed on April 14. Its reorganization plan is expected to reduce its sizable debt load by $10 billion.
  21. Gold’s Gym filed on May 4 after having to close its 700 fitness centers due to coronavirus lockdowns. Thirty gyms will remain permanently closed.
  22. Helios and Matheson, the parent of movie-theater subscription service MoviePass, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on January 29. MoviePass had more than 3 million subscribers at its peak in 2018.
  23. Singapore-based oil trader Hin Leong, founded by ex-billionaire Lim Oon Kuin, filed on April 18 as the company revealed it had $800 million in previously undisclosed losses.
  24. Virginia-based cloud services provider Internap filed on March 16 to renegotiate its debt. It was delisted from the Nasdaq the next week.
  25. J.Crew was the first big American retail domino to fall amid the pandemic, filing on May 4 to convert about $1.7 billion of debt to equity. It still plans to reopen its 181 J.Crew stores, 170 factory stores and 140 stores for its women’s clothing brand Madewell after coronavirus-related restrictions are lifted.
  26. Southeast burger chain Krystal filed on January 19, citing debts of between $50 million and $100 million.
  27. Commercial magazine printer LSC Communications filed on April 13 with nearly $1 billion in debt after an antitrust lawsuit blocked an attempted $1.4 billion sale to competitor Quad/Graphics QUAD last year.
  28. Organic grocer Lucky’s Market filed on January 27 and plans to sell most of its stores to Aldi, Publix and other winning bidders.
  29. Pharmaceutical manufacturer Mallinckrodt submitted a Chapter 11 filing for its specialty generics unit on February 25 and offered to pay a $1.6 settlement under the weight of lawsuits related to opioid abuse.
  30. McClatchy, which operates 30 newspapers in 14 states, filed on February 13, ending 163 years of family control of the business and signaling the continuing erosion of local news.
  31. McDermott International, a commercial construction and engineering company, initiated a Chapter 11 process on January 21 to eliminate $4.6 billion in debt.
  32. Modell’s Sporting Goods, a New York institution since 1889, filed for Chapter 11 on March 11 and announced plans to close all 153 of its stores spread throughout the northeast.
  33. Swedish fashion retail chain MQ filed on April 16 as sales plunged at its physical locations while customers stayed home due to the pandemic.
  34. Neiman Marcus filed on May 7, seeking to eliminate $4 billion in debt. The renowned luxury retailer has 43 Neiman Marcus locations as well as 22 stores for its Last Call discount brand and two Manhattan Bergdorf Goodman stores. Business at all of them has been upended by coronavirus shutdowns.
  35. Clothing conglomerate Nygard Entities filed for Chapter 15, which allows foreign creditors to participate in U.S. cases, on March 19. The company was under fire after a class-action lawsuit filed in February levied sex-trafficking allegations against founder Peter Nygard.
  36. OneWeb, a satellite internet startup backed by SoftBank that launched 74 satellites into space, filed on March 27.
  37. Pier 1, a home furniture chain with close to 1,000 locations at the beginning of the store, began a Chapter 11 reorganization on February 17, before the weight of the pandemic even reached the U.S. Shares were trading at more than $460 in 2013 before beginning a steep and steady decline.
  38. San Antonio-based oil and gas servicer Pioneer Energy filed on March 2, though it is continuing operations.
  39. Rural hospital chain Quorum Health filed a prepackaged chapter 11 plan on April 7 to reduce its debt by $500 million.
  40. RavnAir, an intrastate airline in Alaska, ceased operations and laid off all staff when it filed for bankruptcy on April 5.
  41. RentPath, an online search platform for rental homes, filed on February 11 while at the same time announcing it was being bought out of bankruptcy by competitor CoStar Group CSGP for $588 million.
  42. Rubie’s Costume Company, the world’s largest Halloween costume manufacturer, filed on April 30 as sales declined while its retail customers are closed due to COVID-19.
  43. Canadian auto parts manufacturer Spectra Premium filed on March 10. In a press release, the company complained that efforts to cut supply chain costs were hampered by tariffs the U.S. imposed on China.
  44. Speedcast International, a satellite internet company that provides connectivity to the embattled cruise industry when ships are out at sea and serves 80% of cruise brands globally, filed on April 23.
  45. True Religion, a designer jeans retailer with locations of its own in 26 states and a presence in other major department stores, filed on April 13 for the second time in less than three years.
  46. Virgin Australia, one of Australia’s largest airlines co-founded by billionaire Richard Branson, filed on April 21 after the Australian government denied the company’s pleas for a bailout.
  47. Whiting Petroleum filed on April 1, though it said it would continue to operate its business. Shares of the publicly-traded shale driller dipped below $1 in March after trading at more than $150 in 2015.

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