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A U.S. investor group has completed its acquisition of Herman's World of Sporting Goods from Isosceles PLC and Herman's has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as part of the deal.

Herman's, which operates 253 sporting goods stores primarily in the Northeast, will continue to operate as usual, the investor group said. Herman's operates seven stores in the Salt Lake area.The investor group includes affiliates of Whitman Heffernan Rhein & Co. and Carl Marks & Co., New York-based merchant banking firms.

Other investors include The Taggart-Fasola Group, a New Jersey-based professional management firm; Martin Burke, the former president of Conran's Habitat; and John N. Desrosier, a Connecticut-based merchant banker.

The investor group said Herman's filed a voluntary petition in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Trenton to reorganize under Chapter 11 in order to have the time and resources necessary to implement its new strategy.

"We hope to achieve a successful reorganization as quickly as possible," said Alfred Fasola Jr., the new chief executive of the company and one of the investors. "Our goal is for Herman's to re-emerge from Chapter 11 as a viable, more competitive company."

"With a proud 75-year history, high-name recognition, tremendous customer loyalty, and strong support from the best brand manufacturers, Herman's should be well-positioned to succeed in the highly competitive sporting goods industry," Fasola said.

"In the last few years, however, the company has been hampered by strategic mistakes, including overexpansion and an over-leveraged balance sheet," said Fasola.

Herman's wrong moves have been costly in the past several years, Fasola said, adding that the company will report an $18.5 million loss in its current fiscal year ending May 1.