September 8, 2005
Raff Quits Whitehall
Whitehall Jewellers, Inc. announced that it received a letter yesterday from Beryl Raff advising that she has resigned all positions with the company. Raff had previously been named as CEO and was expected to begin full-time employment with the company and join its board of directors in mid-September. She also indicated in the letter that she will be returning compensation previously paid to her by the company, according to a press release.
Whitehall also announced that it is reviewing its financial situation in light of current and forecasted operating results and management changes. It believes it needs additional capital to support its operations. The company is evaluating various alternatives to meet these needs, including the raising of additional debt or equity financing. Whitehall has requested temporary extensions of payment terms from some of its key suppliers in order to manage liquidity and has also slowed its accounts payable schedules generally. In addition, the company plans to retain restructuring professionals to assist it.
The company is actively engaged in discussing alternatives with its bank lenders and other parties. There is no assurance that the discussions will result in additional financing or that an alternative transaction will be available. If Whitehall is not able to procure additional financing or otherwise able to obtain additional liquidity, it may be forced to pursue other alternatives, such as a restructuring of its obligations.
Whitehall also announced that it does not expect to be in a position to file its quarterly report on Form 10-Q, including financial results for its second fiscal quarter, on a timely basis. It expects to report a net loss for its second fiscal quarter.
Whitehall Jewellers, Inc. is a national specialty retailer of fine jewelry, operating 388 stores in 38 states. The Company operates stores in regional and super regional shopping malls under the names Whitehall Co. Jewellers, Lundstrom Jewelers and Marks Bros. Jewelers.