NEW YORK, April 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- J.Crew Group, Inc. (the "Company") today provided a strategic update, including the announcement of a review of strategic alternatives for the Company, as well as certain leadership and governance changes.
The Company, in consultation with its legal and financial advisors, is actively exploring strategic alternatives to maximize the value of the Company, including a potential initial public offering ("IPO") of its Madewell business, which, if pursued, could be completed as early as the second half of 2019. The Company is considering an IPO of Madewell as part of its previously-stated initiatives to maximize value, position both the J.Crew and Madewell brands for long-term growth, and deleverage and strengthen the Company's balance sheet.
Separately, Michael J. Nicholson, President and Chief Operating Officer, has been named Interim Chief Executive Officer of J.Crew Group, Inc., effective immediately. Additionally, Jack Weingart, Co-Managing Partner of TPG Capital, has been appointed to the Company's Board of Directors, replacing Carrie Wheeler, who will be transitioning off the Board after eight years with the Company. Mr. Nicholson's appointment replaces the Office of the CEO, previously comprised of four executives, which has led the Company since November 2018. Libby Wadle will continue as President & CEO of Madewell, and Lynda Markoe will continue as the Chief Administrative Officer of the Company. Both Mr. Nicholson and Ms. Wadle will report to the Board of Directors. Separately, Adam Brotman, President and Chief Experience Officer, has decided to resign from his position for personal reasons and will be leaving the Company effective April 19, 2019.
Chad Leat, Chairman of the Board of Directors, remarked, "Today's announcement regarding the decision to review strategic alternatives reflects our continued focus on maximizing the value of our Company and our conviction in Madewell's long-term growth potential, which we believe will further enhance our financial flexibility to support a turnaround at J.Crew. The Board is confident in Mike's ability to lead the Company in this dynamic retail environment during this transition period. His appointment reflects the key role he has played leading the Company and directing strategies positioned to improve performance and maximize value."
"On behalf of the Board, we would like to thank Libby, Lynda, Adam, and Mike for their leadership during this transition period, and we thank Carrie for her leadership and dedication to the Company on the Board of Directors," Mr. Leat continued. "We wish Adam the best in his future endeavors, and we look forward to Mike's leadership during this important time for the Company and to Libby and Lynda's continued contributions."
Michael Nicholson, Interim CEO, commented, "I look forward to working with the Board of Directors and our team to build on the decisive actions we have taken to date to refocus our strategy and improve performance in 2019 with the goal of returning J.Crew to profitability, while working with Libby to continue the strong growth at Madewell."
"We believe a potential IPO of Madewell, which had another record year of performance in 2018, could unlock significant value and generate meaningful proceeds that would strengthen our balance sheet and increase our overall financial flexibility to address our 2021 debt maturities, giving us an improved platform to support J.Crew's turnaround and allowing Madewell to achieve its full potential over the long-term."
Mr. Nicholson joined J.Crew in 2016 as President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer, bringing extensive experience across all aspects of retail. Prior to joining J.Crew, Mr. Nicholson was Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of ANN INC. from December 2012 until August 2015. Previously, from 2007 to 2012, he served as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of ANN INC., and prior to that, held leadership positions at Limited Brands, Inc. and Victoria's Secret Beauty Company. Earlier in his career, Mr. Nicholson held senior positions at Colgate Palmolive and Altria Group, Inc.
Jack Weingart is the Co-Managing Partner of TPG Capital, TPG's U.S. and European private equity platform with approximately $35 billion of assets under management. He is also a member of the firmwide executive committee of TPG Global. Between 2006 and 2017, Mr. Weingart served as Managing Partner of the Funding Group, which comprises the firm's capital markets and fundraising activities. Prior to joining TPG in 2006, Mr. Weingart was a Managing Director at Goldman, Sachs & Co., responsible for managing the firm's West Coast leveraged finance and financial sponsor business.
About J.Crew Group, Inc.
J.Crew Group, Inc. is an internationally recognized omni-channel retailer of women's, men's and children's apparel, shoes and accessories. As of April 11, 2019, the Company operates 200 J.Crew retail stores, 131 Madewell stores, jcrew.com, jcrewfactory.com, madewell.com, and 173 factory stores (including 41 J.Crew Mercantile stores). Certain product, press release and SEC filing information concerning the Company are available at the Company's website www.jcrew.com.
Certain statements herein are "forward-looking statements" made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements reflect the Company's current expectations or beliefs concerning future events, and actual results of operations may differ materially from historical results or current expectations. Any such forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties, including the Company's substantial indebtedness, its substantial lease obligations, its ability to anticipate and timely respond to changes in trends and consumer preferences, the strength of the global economy, competitive market conditions, its ability to attract and retain key personnel, its ability to successfully develop, launch and grow its newer concepts and execute on strategic initiatives, product offerings, sales channels and businesses, its ability to implement its growth strategy, material disruption to its information systems, compromises to its data security, its ability to maintain the value of its brands and protect its trademarks, its ability to implement its real estate strategy, changes in demographic patterns, adverse or unseasonable weather or other interruptions in its foreign sourcing, customer call, order fulfillment or distribution operations, increases in the demand for or prices of raw materials used to manufacture its products, trade restrictions or disruptions and other factors which are set forth in the section entitled "Risk Factors" and elsewhere in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and in all filings with the SEC made subsequent to the filing of the Form 10-K. Because of the factors described above and the inherent uncertainty of predicting future events, the Company cautions you against relying on forward-looking statements. The Company does not undertake to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.