Crabtree & Evelyn Files for Chapter 11 Protection

According to the Associated Press, Crabtree & Evelyn Ltd. announced it filed for Chapter 11 protection on July 1, 2009, in the Southern District of New York. The pressure of repaying debt forced the company to file for bankruptcy, acting president Stephen Bestwick said in a court filing. He said management changes had resulted in several shifts in strategy, hurting the company's wholesale business. The company plans to use the court's protection to renegotiate leases with reluctant landlords in its effort to restructure and emerge from bankruptcy. The filing does not include operations outside the U.S.

In a court filing, the Woodstock, Connecticut-based company reported that it owed $46.2 million in debt and had $31.7 million in assets as of March 31, 2009. The privately held company runs 126 retail stores.

Bestwick said he hoped the reorganization would help Crabtree & Evelyn continue its tradition of English-style elegance.

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