Urban Brands, U.S. Clothes Seller, Seeks Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection

Urban Brands Inc., the owner of Ashley Stewart clothes stores in the U.S., sought bankruptcy protection in Delaware.

The New York-based retailer filed for Chapter 11 protection today, citing debt of $100 million to $500 million and assets of $10 million to $50 million.

Ashley Stewart, founded by Thor Equities LLC Chief Executive Officer Joseph J. Sitt, has more than 200 stores in urban areas from New York to Los Angeles, according to the company’s website. The flagship store is on 125th Street in Harlem, New York, where it has operated since 1999.

Ashley Stewart calls itself “the premier fashion retailer for the plus-size urban woman.”

Urban Brands owns 100 percent of Ashley Stewart and 52 other units that sought bankruptcy protection.

UBI Holding Corp. owned 48 percent of the common stock of Urban Brands as of November 2009, according to court papers. Trimaran Fund II LLC, CIBC Employee Private Equity Fund and CIBC Capital Funding also held stakes.

The case is: In re: Urban Brands Inc. 10-13005. U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware (Wilmington).

To contact the reporter on this story: Joe Schneider in Sydney at jschneider5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Douglas Wong at dwong19@bloomberg.net

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