Sports Authority bankruptcy: Suppliers to get nickels on the dollar

The Sports Castle on Broadway liquidated merchandise and closed in March.

The Sports Castle on Broadway liquidated merchandise and closed in March.

As Sports Authority limps toward the finish line, vendors like Nike could get less than five cents for every dollar of gear the defunct retailer brought on in the weeks before it slipped into bankruptcy.

Sports Authority would pay 150 merchants $1.5 million for more than $30 million of sneakers, clothing and other goods it received within 20 days before filing for bankruptcy under a proposed settlement released this week. That comes out to 4.89 cents on the dollar.

For example, Nike would get $1 million back, even though Sports Authority received $23 million worth of Nike merchandise in those final weeks. And Hanesbrands, known for its underwear and tee-shirts, would get just $50,000 for merchandise valued at more than $1 million.

The proposed settlement would need approval from the bankruptcy court. The $30 million in merchandise covered under this proposal is just a small part of the nearly $1 billion in liabilities that Sports Authority claimed in its most recent available financial statement.

The payments scratch the surface of what the companies say the retailer owes them. Nike’s claims against Sports Authority top $50 million; Hanesbrands is knocking on the door for $19 million.

Absent from the settlement is Under Armour, which reported to the SEC that the demise of Sports Authority cost it $23 million, not counting sales revenue it stood to lose in 2016.

As of the end of October, the last time Sports Authority filed a financial statement in bankruptcy court, the company’s liabilities totaled $973.5 million.

The proposal, submitted with the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors on Feb. 13, deals with only a portion of those debts. Under U.S. bankruptcy law, vendors and suppliers can get payouts before general unsecured creditors for goods sold to the debtor, so long as they were received within 20 days before the bankruptcy case began.

Besides the settlement now on the table, some vendors also have received a portion of the proceeds from goods Sports Authority sold as it liquidated stores, which closed for good over the summer.

The likes of Nike still have to get in line behind secured creditors, like banks, as well as lenders authorized to give Sports Authority up to $595 million in debtor-in-possession financing.

Besides the likes of Nike, Sports Authority has been hammering out payment plans with creditors that include its lenders, landlords and lawyers.

The Sports Castle on Broadway liquidated merchandise and closed in March.

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