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Freestyle Owners File Bankruptcy

Geneva Watch Group, which makes the Freestyle sports watch line, has filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection. According to reports, the company is looking to sell off assets.

According to the filing in New York’s bankruptcy court, Geneva had assets total around $41 million and liabilities of $98 million. Founded in 1974, Geneva Watch also operates Gametime, which provides team sports logo watches for the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, and major universities. Much of its business consists of making timepieces under license for fashion and lifestyle brands such as Kenneth Cole New York, Kenneth Cole Reaction, Sperry Top-Sider, Tommy Bahama, Ted Baker London and Zoo York. It formerly held the watch licenses for Speedo and C9 by Champion.

In June 2015, the company’s Italian parent, Binda Italy, became the subject of insolvency proceedings in Italy and the company was no longer able to access financing from Binda Italy. Also in June, the company’s Far East subsidiary shut down operations after the division’s management received “personal threats believed to relate to the past due amounts owed to the Far East Companies’ suppliers.” The majority of the company’s inventory held by the Far East companies was lost or destroyed and significant damage was done to the IT systems following the commencement of the Hong Kong liquidation proceedings in June 2015.

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Time Watch Investments Ltd., based in Hong Kong, will act as a stalking horse bidder as part of an auction tentatively being scheduled for Nov. 9.

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