The 85-year-old vitamin and dietary supplement company, GNC has filed for bankruptcy, shut down up to 1200 stores and search for a buyer.
GNC filed for Chapter 11 protection, after its latest effort to manage its debt load unravelled amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The company lost US$200.1 million ( RM 800 million) in the first quarter, in part because of the forced closures. Most of GNC’s outlets are in malls and strip shopping centres, forcing them to contend with the same declines in foot traffic that have affected other retailers too.
GNC said it has agreed in principle with many lenders to sell itself to an affiliate of its largest shareholder, Harbin Pharmaceutical Group Co, for US$760 million in a court-supervised auction, subject to higher bids, reported by China Press.
CFO Tricia Tolivar said GNC and 16 affiliates sought court protection with a goal of “operationally realigning their businesses” while minimising the impact on customers, employees, landlords and vendors.
However, according to Straits Times, ONI Global- sole franchisee for GNC in Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan, said in a statement on Wednesday that it is an independent company unrelated to GNC holdings. It is thus not part of GNC’s financial restructuring.