Bankruptcy

How workers suffered from Shopko's bankruptcy while Sun Capital made money

Illustration of a hundred dollar bill on a fish hook being pulled away from an open hand.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Private equity is again under fire for bankrupting a longtime retailer and stiffing its employees.

What's new: At issue this time is Shopko, a Wisconsin-based discount chain that was acquired by Sun Capital Partners in 2005 for around $1.1 billion. It filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January and later opted to liquidate after failing to find a buyer.

Flower delivery company FTD files for bankruptcy

Man deliverying flowers
Flowers being delivered. Photo: Dário Oliveira/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

FTD (Nasdaq: FTD), the Illinois-based flower delivery network, yesterday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and agreed to sell its North America and Latin America businesses (including ProFlowers) to Nexus Capital Management for $95 million.

Why it matters: This is really about an earlier, much-hyped deal gone bad. FTD in 2014 paid $430 million to buy ProFlowers, so it could move big into non-floral gifting and increase its share of the e-commerce consumer flowers business from 8% to 18%. But it struggled to service the merger's $120 million in debt, ultimately unable to make payments due this past weekend.