Bed Bath & Beyond lines up funding in a last-ditch bid to avoid bankruptcy
Bed Bath & Beyond will live to see another day — at least for now.
The beleaguered home goods retailer is expecting to receive more than $1 billion in equity from a Hail Mary stock offering it hopes will stave off bankruptcy and liquidation, the company announced Tuesday.
Bed Bath will receive $225 million in the offering up front plus an additional $800 million in proceeds over time, the company said.
The company also secured another $100 million loan from Sixth Street Partners, one of its lenders.
B. Riley Securities will be the sole bookrunner for the offering, the company said.
The cash infusion will be used to pay some of the retailer’s debts after it defaulted on a loan with JPMorgan last month and missed a $25 million interest payment on Feb. 1, the company said in securities filings.
Whatever’s left over will be used to aid Bed Bath’s attempt at a turnaround, the company said. However, it warned that if the deal doesn’t work out, the company will “likely” file for bankruptcy and see its assets liquidated.
The retailer has been desperate to stave off bankruptcy and has been seeking investors willing to inject cash into the company or buy it, CNBC has reported. The efforts have evidently failed thus far, forcing Bed Bath to go to the public markets for funding.
Investors are likely to be wary of buying Bed Bath’s volatile stock but they could find some interest from the “less rational meme stock crowd,” which might be willing to “take the bait,” said Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData.
“In our view, this is a last roll of the dice from a company that is desperate to raise cash to provide some financial headroom to pay down debts and keep operations going,” said Saunders, a veteran retail analyst and consultant.
“There is no guarantee that the offering will yield the desired results,” he said. “Many investors are likely to be deterred by the incredibly weak balance sheet, the mountain of debt, and a business that remains fundamentally broken.”
On Monday, Bed Bath’s shares, which became a meme stock favorite when activist investor Ryan Cohen invested in the company last year, surged by more than 100%. (Cohen sold his stake after a few months.) The stock fell about 35% Tuesday, however. Its market value is hovering around $445 million.