Japanese clothing maker Renown files for bankruptcy with $130 million in debt

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TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Fame Inc 3606.Twhich is part of Chinese fashion empire Shandong Ruyi, filed for bankruptcy on Friday with 13.9 billion yen ($130 million) in debt, the country’s most high-profile company to collapse in the amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Renown, a century-old textile company that sells clothes under brands including Arnold Palmer, Hiroko Koshino and D’Urban, confirmed it had filed for bankruptcy after the month-long closure of department stores that had brought the already struggling company to its knees. .

He joins a list of global fashion companies, including retailers such as J. Crew and Neiman Marcus, which have collapsed due to the pandemic.

Renown, who at one time owned British clothier Aquascutum, had reported losses for years. Shandong Ruyi became one of Renown’s largest shareholders ten years ago and has since become its majority shareholder.

Earlier this year, Renown said it was struggling to collect more than 5 billion yen ($45.2 million) in debt from its Chinese parent company. Its top executives were also recently elected off its board of directors by the parent company.

The Chinese group faces mounting refinancing pressure after spending billions of dollars buying a range of European luxury brands and Asian labels, including French fashion house SMCP and Aquascutum.

Sales of Renown fell significantly after March as the government encouraged consumers to stay home, the company said in a statement.

So far, more than 140 Japanese companies have gone bankrupt since February due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to research firm Tokyo Shoko Research.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government last month declared a state of emergency in response to the coronavirus crisis. Although this does not imply a strict lockdown as seen in other countries, major stores and bars have been closed.

The government rolled out a package including cash payouts for individuals and loans for small businesses, but some economists said the stimulus was not being delivered quickly enough.

Reporting by Junko Fujita; Written by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by David Dolan, Jason Neely and Jan Harvey

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