Bonita takes 10 parties to second round, binding bids due end of August – sources

11 August 2020 - 06:06 am UTC

by Emma-Victoria Farr and Oscar Geen

German women's fashion retailer Bonita has taken around 10 investors through to the second round of its insolvency sale process, two sources close to the situation said.


Binding bids are due by the end of the month, these and a source familiar said.


The bidders are a mix of financial investors and strategic players, including turnaround and fashion specialists, the sources close said. These investors, from Germany and other European countries, are now carrying out their own due diligence on the asset, the first source added.


Management presentations are ongoing, these sources and the source familiar said, and will run until around 19 August, one source added.


In September, once a bidder has been chosen, advisers will work with Bonita’s new owner to implement the insolvency plan solution until the end of the year, the sources close said. Under German law, the Schutzschirm (protective shield proceedings) allows advisers to cut Bonita’s rental contracts until the end of the year, making it simpler for investors, one added.


Roland Berger is acting as M&A adviser, and lawyers Thorsten Bieg, from GOERG Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwaelten, and Detlef Specovius, from Schultze & Braun, are supporting Bonita's management in its self-administration, having become part of the company’s board of directors, as previously reported by this news service.


The possibility of combining two bidders is under discussion, for example a debt fund with a trade player, so the latter can take over the business's shares, the sources close said. The aim is for the business to break even in the first year, all three sources said.


Bonita’s turnover is in the EUR 150m-EUR 180m range, one of the sources close said, with the other putting it nearer to EUR 120m-EUR 140m. 


The process is entirely separate from Bonita's former parent company Tom Tailor Holdings' [ETR:TTI], the sources close said. Tom Tailor has received a guarantee commitment for a EUR 100m loan, as reported.


Bonita, headquartered in Hamminkeln, near Duesseldorf, is a women's fashion retail chain in the older "best-ager" segment, operating around 740 points of sale in Central Europe. It was founded in 1990 and has around 2,500 employees.


Roland Berger, GEORG, and Schultze & Braun declined to comment. Bonita did not return requests for comment.