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Hickey Freeman Parent Company CEO Says No Layoffs Planned, Despite Bankruptcy Filing

Michael Williams

HMX Acquisition Corp., parent company to Rochester-based Hickey Freeman, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection today, according to Bloomberg News.

The bankruptcy documents cite that the company had less than $50,000 in assets, against debt of more than $50 million.

The CEO of HMX Acquisition Corp., the owner of the iconic Rochester-based men's clothing company says that no layoffs or closures are planned, despite the company filing for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan today.

Doug Williams, the CEO of HMX Group spoke the Innovation Trail's Kate O'Connell and the interview is posted in full above.

Here are some highlights from the interview.

"We're in the midst of recapitalizing the company, and (so) to do so it required that we go through a chapter 11 process to allow that to happen, and we have selected a stalking horse bidder for the purchases of the assets of the company, and (in) that bidder they will own the intellectual property and license if back to the company in a long-term basis to continue to operate the factories and support all our employees in the United States."

"Our focus is on preserving all the jobs in the United States. Both factories are very important to us, both in Rochester as well as Chicago, (NB: HMX Acquisition also owns the Hart Schaffner Marx brand based which is produced at a site in Chicago), we see it as a competitive advantage for our company and so at this time there are no layoffs planned, and we actually expect to continue to grow our business and eventually add more workers."

"I would say to all of our employees, they know me well and my focus is again building a great company and preserving the jobs, so they have my personal commitment to ensure that (that) happens". 

Hickey Freeman was the subject of a 7 million dollar bailout package in 2004, engineered by the company, New York state, the City of Rochester and the UNITE union representing the workers.