Yes, I believe this is the end of the line for CWTR, as we've known them.
I put 75% odds they are taken private by Golden Gate (who's already on the board as part of their loan agreement last year). GG's been waiting (knowing full well CWTR is too undercapitalized and poorly led to climb out of the hole by themselves). The result of waiting surely has lowered the takeout price tag, including debt. I'm not sure what the final price tag could be, but the deterioratiing fundamentals surely has lowered the final price.
I've made these comments here before, and predicted things would come to a head right after this holiday season. GG (and even perhaps another party waiting in the wings) have the experience, skills, capital, infrastructure and vision to enact a turnaround. If they see a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, there's nothing stopping them from buying CWTR for short money, rebuilding the brand over the next few years, then flipping it or taking it public again.
As an investor (speculator really) I took a big chunk of my Talbots windfall and rolled it into this turd, mostly during this sub $1 price point. TLB was in even tougher shape in almost every way, and they found an eager buyer. It just took a while for it to finally happen (TLB's board was in denial and trying to play hardball) and for a lower price than it could have.
The other 25% chance is for outright BK, in which case I lose out. We'll know soon enough....
Oh my, this is bad. Worse still, I think CEO Dean made the hire as she ascended to CEO. (see the news from last November).
This really is The Talbots , Part Deux; the incompetent CEO hires an equally incompetent head of merchandising, then fires them shortly thereafter as the bleeding continued. CEO took over merchandising, just as we see here, and fared no better. They were taken private 10 months later for an ever shrinking premium as sales faded and debt mounted.
Golden Gate is probably already talking to new CEO candidates to take the helm right after the Holidays, which will be dismal for CWTR, and not much better for shareholders. Each passing month drives the takeout price lower.