Thursday, February 5, 2009

Another Apollo Name Goes Under, This Time Chapter 22

Prominent Fifth Avenue Jeweler Fortunoff, which last time we checked gave free $199 diamond earnings to anyone who would even enter the store, filed for bankruptcy protection. The company (which is in dire need of updating its investor relations site) was acquired in an acquisition gone horribly wrong in March 2008 for $110 million. The lucky purchaser was NRDC Equity Partners (which owns another sterling retail name in Lord & Taylor) is a joint venture between Robert and Richard Baker, principals at National Realty and Development Corp., and Leon Black's Apollo Real Estate Advisors. Fortunoff had last filed for bankruptcy in February 2008, going to show just how good some investors are at picking bottoms. NRDC had the delusion that it would double the number of Fortunoff stores. As people who have the displeasure of walking on Fifth avenue these days know, the flagship Fortunoff store on 57th and Fifth closed about a month ago.

All good though, cause Apollo somehow has managed to scrape another $15 billion which it will blow on its next market-bottom timing experiment.
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