Rockport, the brand that led the brown shoe comfort revolution, has filed for Chapter 11 and is now seeking a buyer. The proposed bidding procedures, if approved by the court, would require interested parties to submit binding offers to acquire the 52-year-old company’s assets. In anticipation of the sales process, the Newton, MA-based company has entered into negotiations with a potential purchaser, who has significant experience in the industry, to serve as a stalking horse bidder.
Joseph Marchese of PKF Clear Thinking has been appointed Chief Restructuring Officer of Rockport. Gregg Ribatt has resigned from his role as Rockport CEO. Many employees are expected to continue with the company and assist Marchese, independent advisors, and professionals in Rockport’s operations during the Chapter 11 proceedings.
“The immediate relief of Chapter 11 is appropriate to provide the company the opportunity to assess the situation and develop a process to maximize value recoveries for all stakeholders,” states Marchese. “Rockport has valuable assets that can be effectively administered in an organized joint process. I want to assure every employee, customer, creditor, contract party, investor, and other stakeholders that we are going to conduct this effort with diligence, thoroughness, and transparency.”
Rockport anticipates operating “business as usual” during the Chapter 11 process and customers should see no disruption in service or product quality. Subject to court approval, Rockport will operate utilizing debtor-in-possession (“DIP”) financing, which will provide the company with sufficient liquidity to continue its operations during the Chapter 11 case and related sale process.