American Apparel Hires Former Blockbuster CFO Thomas Casey as President

American Apparel Inc., the Los Angeles-based clothing retailer, hired former Blockbuster Inc. executive Thomas Casey as its president to develop an operating plan for the unprofitable chain.

Casey resigned as Blockbuster chief financial officer last month, before the Dallas-based movie-rental chain filed for bankruptcy on Sept. 23. Casey will report to Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Dov Charney in his new role, American Apparel said today in a statement.

American Apparel, which targets young people with colorful T-shirts and dresses, lost money in the past two quarters after expanding too fast. The company also fielded inquiries from regulators over changing accounting firms and risks removal from the NYSE Amex for failing to file financial reports on time.

Casey, who was Blockbuster’s finance chief for three years, has 20 years of experience advising companies undergoing a strategic change, American Apparel said. He also was managing director at Deutsche Bank AG and worked at Citigroup Inc. and Merrill Lynch & Co., the company said.

American Apparel was unchanged at $1.16 at 9:39 a.m. NYSE Amex composite trading. The exchange has given the retailer until Nov. 15 to file its results for the quarter ended June 30, following the change in auditors.

The retailer hired FTI Consulting Inc. to improve its operations and doesn’t plan to file for bankruptcy, Peter Schey, a lawyer representing the company, said last week. FTI, based in West Palm Beach, Florida, advises companies on litigation, mergers and restructuring matters and worked with Circuit City Stores Inc., the bankrupt retailer, and CIT Group Inc., the commercial lender that emerged from bankruptcy last year.

Lion Capital

The retailer said last week it amended an $80 million loan agreement with London-based Lion Capital LLP for a fourth time, helping it avoid violating debt covenants. The change postponed until next year a requirement for American Apparel to achieve an earnings target.

Charney and Lyndon Lea, founder of Lion Capital, are working together to develop a strategic plan for the retailer, the company said in today’s statement.

Accounting firm Deloitte & Touche LLP quit in July and told American Apparel its 2009 financial statements may not be reliable. The change prompted a subpoena from the U.S. Attorney Office in New York and inquiries from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

To contact the reporters on this story: Matt Townsend in New York at mtownsend9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at rajello@bloomberg.net

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