Finlay Goes Chapter 11

As was long expected, 120-year-old Finlay Enterprises and its subsidiary companies filed for Chapter 11 in August, and it looks like the entire chain could liquidate.

The stalking-horse bidder for the chain is Gordon Brothers, which, according to court papers, plans to liquidate “substantially all of the Debtors’ remaining assets, subject to higher and better offers received at an auction.”

Major creditors include Vaishali Diamond Corp. ($7.1 million), Royal Jewelry Mfg. ($2 mil-lion), Richline Group ($1.8 million), B H Multi Com Corp. ($1.2 million), and Le Vian Corp. ($1.2 million).

According to Finlay, it had 182 locations at the end of the second quarter, including 67 Bailey Banks & Biddle, 34 Carlyle, four Congress specialty jewelry stores, and 77 licensed departments with The Bon Ton.

In court papers, the company blamed the bad economy, as well as decisions by department stores that dealt a blow to its leased-department business. The company’s assets are $332 million and liabilities are $385 million.

In February, Finlay reorganized, trimming staff and exiting the leased department business.