Robbins Brothers Update

We have written about the various challenges to the Weston Presidio bid for Robbins Brothers. Well, most of those have been resolved, and the auction for Robbins’ assets, currently scheduled for May 5, will likely take place, with the Weston bid in place.

 

One possible sticking point: Weston has asked vendors to provide $2 million in credit terms within 60 days of closing as a condition of its bid. We’ll see if that comes together, and what Weston does if it doesn’t.

 

One of the objections to the Weston bid was that, the way it was structured, it didn’t seem to let anyone else in the process. Now, it’s been opened up so there is the possibility of other people coming into the process. (Though Weston’s been pessimistic about this.)

 

Liquidators can bid, too, but my understanding is it’s unlikely the economics will work in their favor competing against any going concern bids. I do feel that Robbins’ continued survival would be good news, not just for the people involved, but for the industry – since Robbins has always been seen as a forward-looking company, albeit one that expanded too rapidly for its own good.

 

Finally, this weekend, we got a comment that Spence Diamonds has withdrawn its bid for Robbins’ Chicago stores. I just emailed Spence; their response was “Unfortunately we are not able to make any comments …  during the court proceedings.” My sources say they don’t know either – though Spence’s bid is tied in to some extent with Weston’s. In any case, we’ll just have to see …

JCK News Director