L.J. Hooker Agrees to Sell Parisian Inc.
ATLANTA (AP) _ Financially troubled L.J. Hooker Corp. has agreed to sell its interest in Parisian Inc. to members of the two families that own the rest of the specialty retail chain.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed Wednesday, but the families said they will personally finance the repurchase of Hooker’s shares so Parisian’s financial stability is not affected.
″We’re delighted to separate ourselves from the Hooker situation,″ said Harold L. Abroms, executive vice president of Parisian. ″It has tarnished our credit reputation terribly, which was built over six decades.″
The chain went private in April 1988 when L.J. Hooker bought a two-thirds interest in it.
L.J. Hooker last week filed for Chapter 11 protection in bankruptcy court in New York. Parisian was not included in the Chapter 11 filing as its operations are profitable.
Atlanta-based L.J. Hooker is the U.S. subsidiary of Australia’s Hooker Corp. The division is burdened by a debt of $1.2 billion, a court-appointed representative of the parent company said.
Parisian, based in Birmingham, Ala., is a 18-store chain. Its sales for the 12 months ended Jan. 31 were $262 million.
The company has two stores under construction, and it employs 4,500.
The sale is subject to approval of the bankruptcy court.