FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 15, 2012
SCHUMER WORKS WITH HMX GROUP AND LENDERS TO SECURE VITAL FINANCING FROM J.P.
MORGAN & WELLS FARGO TO KEEP HICKEY FREEMAN OPEN FOR BUSINESS – HELPS PRESERE
OVER 450 JOBS IN ROCHESTER
After Schumer Push, J.P. Morgan & Wells Fargo Helped HMX Group, Hickey Freeman’s
Parent Company, Gain Access to Credit to Secure A New Lender Salus Capital Partners –
News Will Help Preserve 1,400 Jobs in the U.S.
Hickey Freeman Now Has Critical Resources & Credit Necessary to Stay Afloat—Announcement
Avoids Possible Forced Sale of HMX That Could Have Transferred Rochester Jobs
Schumer: Banks Did The Right Thing - Support Means Hickey Freeman Will Continue Making
Finest Suits in the World, Right Here in Rochester
Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that, working with Hickey Freeman's parent company and its lenders, he has helped secure vital support from Wells Fargo and J.P. Morgan Chase for HMX Group that will allow the Rochester clothing company secure a new lender, Salus Capital Group, and stay open for business for years to come.
Schumer’s successful push for Hickey Freeman’s solvency will specifically allow the company to secure Salus Capital Partners as a new lender for its senior lending facility, and comes a week after he personally called John Stumpf, CEO of Wells Fargo, and top officials at J.P Morgan Chase in support of HMX's efforts to restructure their financing for long-term success, and to avoid being broken up and sold. Additionally, two weeks ago -- as HMX sought access to additional credit -- Schumer wrote to Jamie Dimon, CEO of J.P. Morgan Chase, and John Stumpf, CEO of Wells Fargo, to help preserve the company and to highlight its critical importance to the Rochester region.
Schumer’s announcement today will help save hundreds of jobs in Rochester, and across the country, as HMX has over 1,400 workers in the U.S., including more than 450 Hickey Freeman employees in Rochester. HMX Group has already made significant progress in its financial recovery after the Great Recession, and paid down $30 million of its debt. With today's announcement, the company's lenders have now provided critical resources to enter the next phase of recovery and growth. Under this deal, HMX secured additional bridge financing from its outgoing lenders led by Wells Fargo and J.P. Morgan Chase, and can now transition to a new lender for HMX's senior credit facility. This deal closed late last night and provides HMX with the critical assets and credit needed to continue to operate their U.S factories and preserve its U.S. workforce.
“I am thrilled to announce that J.P. Morgan and Wells Fargo have worked with HMX Group to allow Hickey Freeman to continue to ‘dress for success,’ and save 450 jobs in Rochester,” said Schumer. “As soon as I heard Hickey Freeman needed help to secure the resources needed to launch the next phase of its recovery, I called on J.P Morgan and Wells Fargo to provide critical financing that will allow the top-of-the-line and iconic clothing manufacturer to keep jobs right here in Rochester, where they produce some of the finest suits in the world. Working together, as we have in the past, we sent a crystal clear message that when banks and home-grown firms work to keep good American jobs, everyone wins.”
“J.P. Morgan and Wells Fargo were uniquely positioned to help Hickey Freeman get back on its feet, as hundreds of jobs in Rochester hung by a thread, and today’s news shows they did the right thing,” said Schumer. “HMX has already made significant progress in paying down their debt after the Great Recession, and I'm glad these lenders provided Hickey Freeman and its parent company with the resources to enter this next phase so that Hickey Freeman can continue to thrive in Rochester.”
Prior to Schumer’s announcement that HMX will receive necessary financing to keep the company afloat, Schumer wrote to the executives at J.P. Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo, ahead of the possible forced sale of HMX Group, which could break up the company and threaten the transfer of Rochester jobs, or other business throughout the U.S., to overseas companies. Schumer helped prevent the unplanned sale of HMX, which would have been a significant detriment to the American clothing manufacturing prestige and the Rochester workforce. Additionally, Schumer worked with the financial institutions to send a message that banks are willing to help domestic companies as they seek to adapt to an unfavorable economic landscape.
Hickey Freeman has been producing menswear in Rochester since 1899. Each year Hickey Freeman produces about 150,000 units of clothing, each completed by hundreds of individual human processes. Hickey Freeman employs over 450 people and helps keep the northeast part of Rochester industrious and vibrant. The label had maintained its operations in Rochester since its founding, and maintains its “Made in USA” standard, even in a time of widespread outsourcing. The company’s suits and sport coats are known for their quality and fine tailoring. Hickey Freeman has long stood as a strong economic cornerstone of Rochester, and a staple of men’s fashion and garment quality in America, outfitting politicians and public figures for years – including presidents up to Barack Obama. They also outfitted the NBC sportscasters during the recent broadcast of the Olympics.
Schumer’s push to Wells Fargo and J.P. Morgan Chase enabled HMX to close late yesterday on a deal to replace their existing lenders with Salus Capital Partners, thereby affording HMX immediate access to incremental funding for its operations in order to continue to execute on their business plan and position the company for continued growth.