Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

IT'SUGAR Bankruptcy

IT'SUGAR Bankruptcy
3 Months Ended
Mar. 31, 2021
IT'SUGAR Bankruptcy [Abstract]  
IT'SUGAR Bankruptcy

16.  IT’SUGAR Bankruptcy

In March 2020, as a result of various factors, including government-mandated closures and Center for Disease Control and World Health Organization advisories in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, IT’SUGAR closed all of its retail locations and furloughed all store employees and the majority of its corporate employees. Between May 2020 and September 2020, IT’SUGAR reopened nearly all of its approximately 100 locations that were open prior to the pandemic as part of a phased reopening plan which included revised store floor plans, increased sanitation protocols, and the gradual recall of furloughed store and corporate employees to full or part-time employment.

IT’SUGAR ceased paying rent to the landlords of its closed locations in April 2020 and engaged in negotiations with its landlords for rent abatements, deferrals, and other modifications for both the period of time that the locations were closed and the subsequent period during which the locations were open and operating under conditions affected by the pandemic. During that period, in addition to its unpaid rental obligations, IT’SUGAR ceased paying various outstanding obligations to its vendors.

Although IT’SUGAR reopened its retail locations and received an advance of $2.0 million from a subsidiary of BBX Capital under an existing credit facility, IT’SUGAR was unable to maintain sufficient liquidity to sustain its operations. In particular, although a significant portion of its retail locations were reopened during the three months ended September 30, 2020, IT’SUGAR’s total revenues for the period had declined by approximately 50.4% as compared to the comparable period in 2019. As a result, on September 22, 2020, IT’SUGAR and its subsidiaries filed voluntary petitions to reorganize under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in the Bankruptcy Court.

Under Section 362 of the Bankruptcy Code, the filing of bankruptcy petitions automatically stayed most actions against IT’SUGAR, including most actions to collect pre-petition indebtedness or to exercise control of the property of IT’SUGAR. Accordingly, absent an order of the Bankruptcy Court, substantially all pre-petition liabilities are expected to be subject to treatment under a plan of reorganization, as further described below.

In order to successfully exit the Bankruptcy Cases, IT’SUGAR must propose, and obtain confirmation by the Bankruptcy Court of, a plan of reorganization or liquidation (the “Reorganization Plan”) that satisfies the requirements of the Bankruptcy Code. The Reorganization Plan will determine the rights and claims of various creditors and security holders, and under the priority rules established by the Bankruptcy Code, certain post-petition liabilities and pre-petition liabilities will be given priority over pre-petition indebtedness and need to be satisfied before unsecured creditors or holders of equity interests are entitled to any distribution. As provided by the Bankruptcy Code, IT’SUGAR initially had the exclusive right to file and solicit a Reorganization Plan, and IT’SUGAR filed a Reorganization Plan with the Bankruptcy Court in April 2021 within its exclusivity period. In connection with the Bankruptcy Cases, the Office of the United States Trustee, a division of the Department of Justice, appointed an official committee of unsecured creditors (the “Creditors’ Committee”), which has a right to be heard on all matters that come before the Bankruptcy Court, including the confirmation of the Reorganization Plan, and the Creditors’ Committee consented to the Reorganization Plan filed by IT’SUGAR in April 2021. See Item 2 – “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” of this report for additional information related to IT’SUGAR’s proposed Reorganization Plan.

Under the Bankruptcy Code, debtors may assume, assign, or reject executory contracts and unexpired leases subject to the approval of the Bankruptcy Court and certain other conditions. Generally, the rejection of an executory contract or unexpired lease is treated as a prepetition breach of such executory contract or unexpired lease and, subject to certain exceptions, relieves the debtors of performing their future obligations under such executory contract or unexpired lease but entitles the contract counterparty or lessor to a pre-petition general unsecured claim for damages caused by such deemed breach subject, in the case of the rejection of unexpired leases of real property, to certain caps on damages. Counterparties to such rejected contracts or leases may assert unsecured claims in the Bankruptcy Court against the applicable debtor’s estate for such damages. Generally, the assumption or assumption and assignment of an executory contract or unexpired lease requires the debtors to cure existing monetary defaults under such executory contract or unexpired lease and provide adequate assurance of future performance.

If the Bankruptcy Court does not confirm the Reorganization Plan filed by IT’SUGAR, the Bankruptcy Cases could be converted to cases under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code. Under Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases, a trustee would be appointed to collect IT’SUGAR’s assets, reduce them to cash, and distribute the proceeds to IT’SUGAR’s creditors in accordance with the statutory scheme of the Bankruptcy Code. Alternatively, if IT’SUGAR’s Reorganization Plan is not confirmed by the Bankruptcy Court, in lieu of the conversion of the Bankruptcy Cases to Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases, the Bankruptcy Court could dismiss the Bankruptcy Cases.

In connection with IT’SUGAR’s Bankruptcy Cases, on October 7, 2020, IT’SUGAR obtained approval by the Bankruptcy Court of a $4.0 million debtor-in-possession (“DIP”) credit facility to be made available by a subsidiary of the Company. As of March 31, 2021,  the entire $4.0 million available under the DIP credit facility had been funded to IT’SUGAR and was outstanding. The principal amount outstanding under the DIP credit facility bears interest at the LIBOR daily floating rate plus 1.50% with monthly interest only payments until the full payment of all principal outstanding. The maturity date is the earliest of (a) 365 days from the petition date; (b) the effective date of a plan of reorganization or liquidation; (c) the consummation of a sale(s) of all or substantially all of the assets of IT’SUGAR; (d) the occurrence of an Event of Default (as defined in the loan agreement);  or (e) the entry of an order by the Bankruptcy Court approving or authorizing any alternative or additional debtor-in-possession financing. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Company may, in its sole discretion, agree in writing with IT’SUGAR, to a later maturity date.

As a result of the filings, the uncertainties surrounding the nature, timing, and specifics of the Bankruptcy Cases, and the Company’s resulting loss of control and significant influence over IT’SUGAR, the Company determined that IT’SUGAR is a VIE in which the Company is not the primary beneficiary and deconsolidated IT’SUGAR in connection with the filings.

Following the deconsolidation of IT’SUGAR, the Company’s noncontrolling equity investment in IT’SUGAR is being accounted for at cost less impairment, if any, plus or minus changes resulting from observable price changes in orderly transactions for the identical or a similar investment of the same issuer. Equity investments are accounted for at cost less impairment when the investor does not have significant influence over the investee and the equity investment has no readily determinable fair value. Under this method, equity investments are accounted for at historical cost and adjusted if there is evidence that the fair market value of the equity investment has declined below the historical cost. 

IT’SUGAR’s results of operations and cash flows are included as continuing operations in the Company’s financial statements for the three months ended March 31, 2020, as the Company continues to hold a substantive equity investment in IT’SUGAR. Additionally, as a result of the Company deconsolidating IT’SUGAR, IT’SUGAR’s notes payable to the Company, which had a total balance of $10.1 million as of March 31, 2021, are not eliminated in consolidation and are included in investments in and advances to IT’SUGAR in the Company’s condensed consolidated statements of financial condition as of March 31, 2021 and December 31, 2020.

See Note 23 to the Company’s consolidated financial statements included in the 2020 Annual Report for additional information regarding the IT’SUGAR bankruptcy, including IT’SUGAR’s estimated pre-petition liabilities as of September 22, 2020, the date it was deconsolidated from the Company’s financial statements.

It is not possible to predict the ultimate effect of the reorganization process on IT’SUGAR’s business and creditors or when, or if, IT’SUGAR may emerge from bankruptcy. While the reorganization process may improve IT’SUGAR’s result of operations, cash flows, and financial condition if it obtains relief in relation to its pre-petition liabilities and it is able to negotiate amendments to its lease agreements that lower its ongoing occupancy costs while its business continues to be impacted by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no assurance that it will obtain such relief, and the ultimate impact of the Bankruptcy Cases and the reorganization process on IT’SUGAR and its results of operations, cash flows, or financial condition remains uncertain. Further, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on demand, sales levels, and consumer behavior, as well as a recessionary economic environment, increased inventory, freight, and labor costs, and general supply chain disruptions, have had and could continue to have a material adverse effect on IT’SUGAR’s business, results of operations, and financial condition during the bankruptcy proceedings and thereafter.