Chapter 11 For Lenox Group

Lenox Group is the latest merchant to file for bankruptcy. The beleaguered tabletop, giftware and collectibles company announced today that it has filed a voluntary petition for reorganization relief under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the Southern District of New York.

The company is also seeking court approval for a new $85 million debtor-in-possession financing facility provided by its current revolving lender group. Leonox says it needs the funds for the ongoing operations of its business, including the employee payroll, material purchases, operating expenses and other obligations.

“We want to assure our employees, customers, vendors and communities that Lenox is conducting business as usual,” said CEO Marc Pfefferle in a statement. “Our Lenox, Dansk, Gorham and Department 56 brands are trusted by consumers and we have strong forward momentum with many new innovative products.

In addition to its flagship brand, Lenox Group includes Department 56, Gorham and Dansk. The company’s direct marketing sales for 2007 by $7.5 million or 8% vs. 2006. Total net sales for 2007 slipped to $452.1 million from $502.5 million in 2006. But Lenox did narrow its net loss from $49.3 million in 2006 to $15.8 million for 2007.

Lenox says it will continue to pursue a sale of its business through a sale process to be approved by the Court. The Eden Prairie, MN-based company has been exploring strategic alternatives since January, but was unable to command an acceptable price.