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Vitamin chain GNC files for bankruptcy, may close 1,200 stores and sell itself

Vitamin chain GNC files for bankruptcy, may close 1,200 stores and sell itself

June 24 (Reuters) – GNC Holdings Inc, the vitamin and natural dietary supplement retailer, has submitted for bankruptcy, with options to close at the very least 800 to 1,200 spots and potentially provide by itself.

The 85-calendar year-previous corporation filed for Chapter 11 protection late Tuesday evening in the U.S. bankruptcy courtroom in Wilmington, Delaware.

GNC experienced been attempting to lower its approximately $900 million financial debt load amid slipping product sales at its brick-and-mortar outlets when the coronavirus pandemic forced hundreds of places to close temporarily, cutting off a major profits supply. About 2,100 of its 11,000 personnel stay furloughed.

The Pittsburgh-dependent corporation, whose identify is an acronym for Normal Nutrition Centers, plans a “twin-route” restructuring where it would either be bought as a heading worry, or boost its balance sheet by shedding more than $300 million of debt.

GNC stated it has agreed in principle with many creditors to offer by itself to an affiliate of its major shareholder, Harbin Pharmaceutical Team Co, for $760 million in a court docket-supervised auction, issue to better bids.

It also claimed it has lined up $130 million in new funding, which includes help from Harbin and Global Vitamin Corp, its largest seller.

Main Monetary Officer Tricia Tolivar reported GNC and 16 affiliates sought court docket defense with a objective of “operationally re-aligning their firms,” whilst minimizing the affect on clients, personnel, landlords and vendors.

Company operations will proceed, and much less than 500 merchants stay shut mainly because of the pandemic. The organization hopes to emerge from Chapter 11 in the slide.

GNC has about 7,300 areas, which includes 5,200 in the United States and 1,600 “shop-within-a-retail store” locations in Rite Help suppliers. The rest are in about 50 other nations around the world. Approximately 2,633 U.S. and Canadian merchants are firm-owned.

The company dropped $200.1 million in the first quarter, in section since of the forced closures. It had shuttered 596 underperforming suppliers from January 2018 to March 2020.

The situation is In re GNC Holdings Inc, U.S. Individual bankruptcy Court docket, District of Delaware, No. 20-bk-11662. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York modifying by Jonathan Oatis)