Ascendia files for bankruptcy, Scheyer resigns

HAMILTON, N.J. Ascendia Brands, a maker of branded bath, health and beauty care products, has filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 and expects to sell the business before Sept. 30.

In addition, Steven Scheyer has resigned as president and chief executive officer of the company and as a member of Ascendia’s board. The company has appointed Douglas Booth, a partner in financial advisory firm Carl Marks Advisory Group, as chief restructuring officer. Marks will have overall responsibility for finance, sales, marketing and operations and will also oversee negotiations regarding a sale of the company.

Ascendia has entered an agreement with its senior secured lenders to provide a debtor-in-possession financing facility and plans to continue to operate in the ordinary course pending a sale. It is in discussions with prospective buyers and expects to complete a sale before Sept. 30.

The company’s decision to file for bankruptcy is a result of financial pressures from tightening credit markets, a strain on material flows and the liquidity impact associated with the Healing Garden brand re-launch.

“While many of Ascendia’s core brands have a very successful 50-year heritage and serve an important market niche, we have recently faced considerable challenges. After careful analysis, the decision was made to restructure the business through a Chapter 11 filing in order to streamline operations, refocus on our core profitable products and sell the company in order to better position the business for the future,” stated Booth.

The company plans to discontinue unprofitable products in order to focus on strong brands and high margin products within those brands and consolidate distribution centers.

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