On Thursday January 24th, Dutch shoe retailer Schoenenreus was declared bankrupt. A few hours later an agreement was signed whereby Schoenenreus II, a newly incorporated company (incorporated by the management board and shareholders of the bankrupt Schoenenreus), took over a substantial part of the business activities; the next day, the Schoenenreus stores were reopened for the public.
The bankrupt Schoenenreus operated over 200 stores both in the Netherlands and Belgium, of which approximately two-thirds was taken over. Although the bankruptcy involved the dismissal of some of the employees, employment was preserved for the majority of the staff (1100 employees). This restart was established through a “prepack”: a transaction already to a large extent negotiated and prepared prior to the bankruptcy.The bankruptcy was preceded by a suspension of payments and a “silent suspension”, which is not a formal insolvency procedure, but a procedure in which an administrator will be appointed by the court in advance so that he can be involved in the negotiation process prior to the formal insolvency procedure. This case, in which new funding with ING was negotiated as well, has both Dutch and Belgian aspects.
NautaDutilh assists the company taking over the business; NautaDutilh’s team is led by Teska van Vuren and Barbara Rumora-Scheltema and is assisted by colleagues from the Corporate, Employment, Banking & Finance and Competition practice groups in both the Netherlands and Belgium.