Fashion retailer Comark to be acquired by Stern Partners’ affiliate

Comark Inc, a Canadian specialty fashion retailer, has executed an asset purchase agreement regarding a proposed sale of its business and assets. The deal, the value of which was not disclosed, will see Pacific West Commercial Corp, an affiliate of Canadian private equity firm Stern Partners, acquire and operate Comark’s retail banners, Ricki’s, Bootlegger and cleo. Comark, which obtained creditor protection earlier in 2015, said the purchase price is expected to repay its secured lender in full. Any surplus funds will be made available to unsecured creditors. Established in 1976, Comark currently operates about 300 stores. It is based in Mississauga, Ontario. The acquisition is expected to close in August.


Comark announces sale agreement with Stern Partners

MISSISSAUGA, ON, July 20, 2015 /CNW/ – Comark Inc. (“Comark” or the “Company”), a leading Canadian specialty fashion retailer serving customers through its Ricki’s, Bootlegger and cleo banners, announced today that it has executed an asset purchase agreement (“Purchase Agreement”) regarding a proposed sale of its business and assets (the “Transaction”) to Pacific West Commercial Corporation, an affiliate of Stern Partners Inc.

The Transaction will result in the transfer of Comark’s retail banners to separate affiliates of the purchaser and, upon closing, substantially all employees will be offered jobs by the new owners. Stern Partners intends to continue to operate the Ricki’s, Bootlegger and cleo banners.

“I’m pleased that the Transaction will see substantially all of our Ricki’s, Bootlegger and cleo stores across Canada remain open for business, and I’m equally pleased that substantially all of our dedicated employees will continue to have the opportunity to work with the purchaser,” said Gerry Bachynski, President and CEO of Comark. “I thank our loyal employees, customers and suppliers for continuing to support us as we have moved through the restructuring process and remind our stakeholders that it continues to be business as usual in our stores. I believe Stern Partners will be a great owner for this business.”

Comark expects that the purchase price, which is subject to customary adjustments for working capital and other items, will result in Comark’s secured lender being repaid in full and any surplus funds would be available for its unsecured creditors. The Transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, as well as Court and Competition Bureau approvals, and is expected to close by late August 2015.

Comark’s Ricki’s, Bootlegger and cleo stores across Canada remain open for business and continue to stock the latest mix of exclusive private-label and nationally branded apparel. All rewards programs, gift cards, warranties and exchanges continue to be honoured.

Comark announced that it obtained an initial Order from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Commercial List) (the “Court”) on March 26, 2015, granting it creditor protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (“CCAA”) and subsequently commenced a sale and investor solicitation process that resulted in the Purchase Agreement. Additional information regarding the sales process and the Company’s CCAA proceedings, including court materials, are publicly available on the Monitor’s website at Comark will continue to provide updates throughout its restructuring process.

About Comark Inc.

Comark is one of Canada’s leading specialty apparel retailers. Established in 1976, the Company today has approximately 300 stores operating under three divisions: Ricki’s, Bootlegger and cleo. Comark stores are located in shopping malls, big box power centres and strategic suburban plazas across Canada. The Company’s long history throughout the country has fostered tremendous customer loyalty within each division’s target market. Each of its divisions targets a segment of Comark’s clearly defined customer base, ranging from young adults to the New50 Woman, with a mix of exclusive private-label and nationally branded product.

About Stern Partners

Stern Partners is a lead investor in a diverse range of operating companies across a variety of industries, including multi-location retailing, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, media, publishing, printing, environmental services, real estate and other investments. Stern’s current investments include over 14 stand-alone businesses with annual revenues ranging from $20 million to $300mm. The group has significant retail investing experience in Canada with interests in two national retailers, Warehouse One and Urban Barn. Stern deploys its own capital, which provides significant flexibility and opportunity to focus on the long-term growth and operations of its companies. Information about the Stern group and its operating companies can be found at

SOURCE Comark Inc.

For further information: Comark Inc.: (905) 567-7375,; Media contact: Nick Anstett, Longview Communications, (416) 649-8008

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