Friedman’s receives loan for holiday purchases

Friedman’s Inc., has successfully closed its amended and restated $125 million debtor-in-possession loan with Citicorp USA, Inc. on May 27, the Savannah-based company said in a statement.

“We expect the amended $125 million facility will provide the company with significant excess liquidity to support our 2005 holiday merchandising program,” Sam Cusano, Friedman’s CEO, said.

Friedman’s received Bankruptcy Court approval to enter into the amended and restated DIP facility on May 26. At closing, Friedman’s received $25.5 million loan which was purchased by Harbert Distressed Investment Master Fund, Ltd. in connection with the amended DIP transaction. The bankrupt company will use the loan to purchase inventory for the Christmas holiday season.

As a result of the funding of the term loan, Friedman’s has an additional $12.5 million of revolver availability, and will have an additional $12.5 million of availability under its revolving facility upon the company’s receipt of commitments from vendors sufficient to satisfy the Company’s 2005 holiday sales season merchandise requirements.

A major part of Friedman’s plan to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy is winning the confidence of jewelry vendors, many of who went unpaid last year as the company fell short on cash.