Vitamin chain GNC files for bankruptcy, may close 1,200 stores, sell
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GNC Holdings Inc, the vitamin and herbal supplement retailer, has filed for bankruptcy, with plans to close 800 to 1,200 locations and possibly sell itself.
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The 85-year-old company filed for Chapter 11 protection late Tuesday night in the U.S. bankruptcy court in Wilmington, Delaware.
GNC had been trying to reduce its nearly $900 million debt load amid falling sales at its brick-and-mortar stores when the coronavirus pandemic forced thousands of locations to close temporarily, cutting off a major revenue source. About 2,100 of its 11,000 employees remain furloughed.
The Pittsburgh-based company, whose name is an acronym for General Nutrition Centers, plans a “dual-path” restructuring where it would either be sold as a going concern, or improve its balance sheet by shedding more than $300 million of debt.
GNC said it has agreed in principle with many lenders to sell itself to an affiliate of its largest shareholder, Harbin Pharmaceutical Group Co (600664.SS), for $760 million in a court-supervised auction, subject to higher bids.