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American Apparel approaches Skadden for restructuring advice: WSJ

Pedestrians walk past an American Apparel sign outside one of their stores in New York April 1, 2011. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Pedestrians walk past an American Apparel sign outside one of their stores in New York April 1, 2011. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

(Reuters) - Clothing and accessories retailer American Apparel Inc has tapped restructuring advisers after being bogged down by weakening sales and heavy debt, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The company recently enlisted lawyers at Skadden, Arps, Slate Meagher & Flom LLP to work on restructuring options, though it is unclear what the strategy will be, the paper said. (http://r.reuters.com/req96v)

The company, known for its racy advertising and bright "Made-In-America" clothes, reported that January same-store sales fell 5 percent while total sales fell 1 percent due to a colder-than-usual weather in the United States.

The Los-Angeles-based company has about $240 million in debt and has come close to breaching loan covenants, debt terms designed to protect its lenders, in recent quarters, the Journal reported.

Some of the company's bondholders are starting to organize and are reaching out to restructuring advisers, according to the report.

American Apparel and Skadden could not immediately be reached for comment.

American Apparel shares were trading almost 24 percent at 7390 cents in afternoon trading on the American Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Devika Krishna Kumar in Bangalore; Editing by Savio D'Souza)

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