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Alex & Ani Files Chapter 11 June 14, 2021 (0 comments)


Providence, RI—Alex & Ani, the jewelry brand that went from business darling to deeply troubled, has filed for Chapter 11. 

The Providence Journal reports the company—mired in sales slumps, lawsuits, and internal conflict—will continue to operate while working with creditors and restructuring. 

The company was founded by Carolyn Rafaelian in 2004 and quickly gained renown both for its fashionable, affordable jewelry (top image) and because it was helmed by a woman. By 2017, Rafaelian and her net worth (over $1 billion) were heralded on the cover of Forbes as the 18th-richest self-made woman in the United States. 

Two years later, the company was in deep trouble. Sales were falling, it was behind on its bills, and Rafaelian was embroiled in an ugly lawsuit against Bank of America, alleging gender bias in lending. By last year, she was out and her company taken over by investor Lion Capital, a British private equity firm, which still owns 59% of the company. 

Company executives blamed the pandemic last year for its additional troubles. From the Providence Journal:

"In 2020, COVID-19 forced the company to pause its key strategic growth initiatives, temporarily close stores and scale back its operations in light of reduced in-store customer demand," Robert Trabucco, Alex and Ani's chief restructuring officer, said in a statement. "By utilizing the Chapter 11 process, we are able to ensure an expedited and orderly right-sizing of our balance sheet and operations.”

The company owes between $100 million and $500 million to hundreds of creditors, says the paper.

Related: Alex & Ani Jewelry Sues Nation’s #2 Bank For Gender Discrimination

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