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Spiegel's Zaepfel, vice chairman, president and ceo, to retire

Downers Grove, IL — Two days after reporting it may not have adequate funds to continue operations much longer, Spiegel this morning said its ceo was retiring.

Martin Zaepfel will step down as vice chairman, president and ceo effective tomorrow. The company’s board simultaneously announced that William Kosturos, a managing director at Alvarez & Marshal Inc., a turnaround and management consulting firm, has been named chief restructuring officer and interim ceo. Kosturos’ charge will be to strengthen Spiegel’s financial position and improve operations. The board has initiated a search for a permanent ceo.

On Tuesday, Spiegel filed a form 8-K with the SEC stating it will fail to meet the minimum performance requirements for two debt offerings for the period ended Feb. 28. It also said it may not be able to meet other debt payments. That will trigger a series of payout requirements beginning in early March and continuing into April.

That might effectively block the company's cash flow and its ability to operate, unless it can find alternate sources of financing. But, as the company previously disclosed, it has been in default on its existing revolving credit facility since fiscal 2001 and is not permitted to borrow additional amounts under that facility.

Spiegel's businesses include Eddie Bauer, Newport News, the Spiegel catalog and First Consumers National Bank.

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