Report: Brookstone mulls bankruptcy filing

Merrimack specialty retailer reportedly considering making move within weeks

Merrimack-based specialty retailer Brookstone Inc. is contemplating a possible bankruptcy protection filing in the coming weeks, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

The newspaper also reported that Brookstone is in talks with various firms, including Hilco Global and Tiger Capital Group LLC, about buying or investing in the company.

The talks are still in the works, and liquidation of the chain is not currently on the table, the paper said.

According to the newspaper, Brookstone missed an interest payment in January on about $125 million of debt. The missed payment's grace period expires Saturday, but the company could extend the grace period with enough creditor approval, according to the report.

In a statement to the Journal, the company said it was mulling filing for bankruptcy “in order to ensure Brookstone's successful future.”

It added that it “is evaluating its options with respect to refinancing and/or restructuring its bond and other debt, and improving its capital structure.”

The Brookstone statement also said that “customers and employees can be assured that Brookstone will continue to operate as we always have,” but the newspaper also reported that a new owner or investor would evaluate the number of retail stores the firm has.

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