distributor of high-end kitchen appliances

$60M Revenue

Company Overview
  • The Company was a $60+ million distributor of high-end kitchen and laundry appliances to retailers in North America. 
  • In addition, the Company operated as a home appliance distributor to the contracting and buildings trade market, and an importer and master distributor of kitchen and laundry appliances to 8 North American distributors.
  • The Company warranted certain product lines and maintained a service network to address warranty issues.
Engagement Overview
  • The Company’s main product provider (85% of sales) chose to begin selling direct to retailers.  This decision coincided with the downturn in residential construction, causing the Company to incur significant losses as it attempted to ramp-up sales of new manufacturing lines.
  • FDP was initially engaged to perform an operational review of management’s business plan and assess its strategic alternatives:
    • -Performed an analysis of the Company’s distribution channels and divisional profitability;
    • -Initiated cost reductions while alternatives were explored; and
    • -Evaluated liquidity issues, concluding that a wind-down of operations was required due to the lack of the required investment in start-up of new lines and the lack of support from owners and lenders.
  • Working with the Board and lenders, FDP was selected as the Chief Liquidation Officer for the Company after management was asked to resign.
  • Fort Dearborn conducted an out-of-court wind-down of the business:
    • -Retained and motivated desired employees to assist with liquidation efforts;
    • -Selected inventory liquidator and AR collections firm after employee led efforts ceased;
    • -Negotiated multiple warehouse arrangements in various states as facilities were vacated; and
    • -Dealt with various issues related to Dept. of  Labor, employee retirement plans, and state taxing authorities.
  • Performed search for fraudulent transactions related to owner and manager payments and transactions, and inventory transactions with customers and vendors.
  • Completed final accounting for all three operating entities, from incomplete information, in order to prepare tax returns.
  • FDP secured assets and stepped in as operating manager upon resignation of the entire management team.
  • Fort Dearborn identified consignment inventory arrangements recorded as actual sales and negotiated with customers to maximize inventory and receivables realization.
  • FDP maximized recovery to the estate by finding a buyer for an unknown and unsupported line of inventory, after efforts by the liquidation consultant proved unsuccessful.
  • Fort Dearborn negotiated the settlement between the lender and stockholders for payment on outstanding stockholder receivables due the Company.

FDP News

Oct - 23

Max Bechtel and Austin Curtis join Fort Dearborn Partners

Please join us in welcoming the newest members of the Fort Dearborn Team, Max Bechtel and Austin Curtis.

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Apr - 23

Fort Dearborn advises Reliable Knitting Works

Fort Dearborn Partners served as the exclusive financial advisor for the refinancing of Reliable Knitting Works, a $125 Million Wisconsin-based Company.

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