Payless Exits Bankruptcy In 4 Months; Focuses Growth Plans On Latin America

Payless ShoeSource has emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy after closing approximately 700 stores and eliminating more than $435 million in debt. When the restructuring officially is complete, Paul Jones will retire as CEO.

In merely four months after filing for bankruptcy in April, Payless paid off nearly half of the $847 million of debt it had built up under its private equity ownership. The massive debt elimination in such a short period of time is a good sign for the footwear retailer in an environment where other traditional brands are struggling to pay off significant debt. As part of the restructuring, Payless has a much cleaner balance sheet to work with, as well as improved…