Fortunoff Files Chapter 11

Fortunoff Holdings LLC, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection Thursday.

“The jewelry and home goods businesses have been hit particularly hard by the economic downturn. However, we are actively seeking a buyer for the business, and we will continue to do so in the Chapter 11 process,” Charles Chinni, president & chief executive officer of Fortunoff said in a statement.

The petition for Chapter 11 filed Thursday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan listed more than $100 million in assets and liabilities, Bloomberg News reports. NRDC Equity Partners LLC bought Uniondale, New York- based Fortunoff last March for $110 million, including $80 million in cash. It was filed about a year after it last sought bankruptcy protection.

The company’s largest unsecured creditor was listed as Hanamint Corp., which is owed $1.56 million, Bloomberg News reports.

Purchase, New York-based NRDC, which also owns the Lord & Taylor department-store chain, is a venture between Robert C. Baker and Richard A. Baker, principals of National Realty & Development Corp., and William Mack and Lee Neibart, partners of Apollo Real Estate Advisors LP.

Founded in 1922, Fortunoff’s headquarters are located in Westbury, Long Island. The company comprises 3 full-line stores and 16 regional outdoor furniture stores and a Web site, fortunoff.com.

Funds managed by Trimaran Fund Management LLC and Kier Group Holdings LLC purchased a majority stake in the company in 2004.

NRDC acquired Fortunoff in March 2008, a month after the company filed for bankruptcy court protection, listing debt of $305.8 million and assets of $267.6 million. A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge dismissed that case in September.

At the time of the purchase NRDC said that it planned to double the number of Fortunoff stores and incorporate Fortunoff jewelry and bridal registry units into existing Lord & Taylor stores.

The luxury goods chain closed its Manhattan store last month.

Fortunoff had planned to close the 57th Street store and move its merchandise into Lord & Taylor after the department- store chain’s contract with competitor Finlay Fine Jewelry Corp. expired.

Lord & Taylor no longer plans to sell Fortunoff jewelry, a spokeswoman told Bloomberg.