Mark Ecko, founder and famed designed of Ecko clothing, could be in a serious financial squeeze according to report in the New York Post. Ecko has also recently stepped up and started sponsoring several prominent MMA fighters including UFC heavyweight champion, Frank Mir, TUF 9 coach Michael Bisping, and “Ultimate Fighter” winner, Nate Diaz.
The story says sources have indicated that Ecko has hired investment bank, Peter J. Solomon, to help refinance at least $170 million in debt that are owed to 2 key business partners.
Because of this debt, Ecko may be forced to sell off pieces of his businesses to help financial woes and pay off creditors.
According to the report, Ecko owed over $100 million to Li & Fung, a global trading company that helps manufacture his products, and that the rough holiday season played a major part in the recent struggle.
Ecko has also now apparently defaulted on a $70 million loan from commercial lender, CIT, and as quoted in the story from the NY Post, Ecko is “scrambling to avoid bankruptcy so he doesn’t lose every stitch of equity he’s got.”
Sources told the Post that Ecko’s executives and business partners are in a scramble to sell off pieces of the business to rivals in exchange for immediate cash. Apparently, Ecko is also trying to lease out space in his huge 280,000-square-foot headquarters on West 23rd Street, in New York City.
How this could affect the MMA fighters that Ecko currently sponsors is not known. Independent sources indicated to MMA Insider on Friday that the financial struggles felt by Ecko could partially be a reason why the clothing giant fell out of the running for their bid for the Elite XC assets, of which they were rumored to be in contention for.
The NY Post contacted Ecko chief marketing officer, Michael Golden, who stated, “we’re pretty confident that this isn’t an issue that’s life-threatening at all, in our case, we have more than enough assets to pay off that term loan, and we have more than enough time.”
Stay tuned to MMA Insider for more information on this story as it becomes available.