Hartmarx sale price rises-CEO

Originally published July 31, 2009

By Ian Sherr

CHICAGO, July 31 (Reuters) – The sale price for bankrupt Hartmarx, the men’s clothing company from which President Obama gets his suits, has risen to about $130 million, Chief Executive Homi Patel said in an interview, adding that he would step down as CEO on Friday.

Patel declined to say why the price had risen from $119 million, the price listed in court documents filed last month.

Hartmarx is being sold to private equity firms Emerisque and SKNL North America.

“We expect and anticipate that the sale will close in the next few days,” Patel said.

The Chicago-based suit maker, which makes clothing under such brands as Hart Schaffner Marx, Hickey Freeman, and Coopley, filed for bankruptcy protection on Jan. 23.

The company said demand for its products had dropped sharply, and that it has been unable to secure financing.

On June 25, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Bruce Black approved Hartmarx’s sale to Emerisque and SKNL North America.

Hartmarx Chief Financial Officer Glenn Morgan announced his retirement effective June 30. Now, Patel is stepping down as CEO, effective July 31.

“I turned 60 a few weeks ago, and this was always in the cards,” he said. “It just seemed like the right thing to do and move on to another adventure.”

Patel, who remains a Hartmarx director, said he was talking to Emerisque about a possible advisory and board association in a nonexecutive capacity.

(By Ian Sherr. Published July 31, 2009 on the wire at Reuters News.)