School Specialty Inc. to file for bankruptcy

Greenville, Wis.-based School Specialty Inc. announced a plan to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and sell its assets to an affiliate of Bayside Capital Inc.

In connection with the filing, the company has secured a new lending arrangement to be provided by School Specialty’s existing asset-based lenders and a commitment for $50 million in additional capital in the form of debtor-in-possession financing from an affiliate of Bayside Capital. The financing is intended to provide School Specialty with ample liquidity to operate the business and meet its ongoing obligations to customers, business partners, suppliers and employees through completion of the sale process.

Today’s announcement will enable a sale of the business on an expedited basis to Bayside Capital or any higher or better bidder approved by the court. The company anticipates completing the sale process in 60 to 90 days.

School Specialty president and chief executive officer Michael Lavelle said, “We are pleased to have reached these agreements with Bayside, and are confident School Specialty’s business has a bright future. We fully expect to continue normal business operations, providing quality, value-driven education products and excellent customer care and programs. Our customers remain a top priority and we plan to meet all our customer commitments and maintain customer policies and programs.”

Bayside Capital is an affiliate of H.I.G. Capital, a leading global private investment firm with more than $10 billion of equity capital under management.

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