(Bloomberg) -- Juul Labs Inc. added two restructuring experts to its board of directors as the company weighs its options.
Paul Aronzon, who formerly led law firm Milbank’s global financial restructuring group, has joined the board. Another new independent director is David Barse, who runs index company XOUT Capital and family office DMB Holdings. Barse, the former chief executive officer of Third Avenue Management, joined the board of bankrupt cryptocurrency lender Celsius Network earlier this year.
Juul has been mulling options including a bankruptcy filing or new financing after the FDA banned Juul products from US shelves, citing a lack of evidence demonstrating their overall safety. The company won a court order temporarily blocking the FDA decision, and the agency separately stayed its ban.
“As part of that preparation process, our board recently added two new independent members whose broad experience with companies exploring strategic options will help determine what path is best for our company, our products and the millions of adult smokers who have or are looking to transition from combustible cigarettes,” a Juul spokesperson told Bloomberg.
Juul has been working with restructuring advisers at Kirkland & Ellis and Alvarez & Marsal to assess its options. The Wall Street Journal earlier reported about the new board members.
The company recently began talks regarding funding for a potential Chapter 11 bankruptcy, as Bloombeg reported. The preparations aren’t final, and plans could change.
In a virtual town hall this week, Juul Chairman and CEO K.C. Crosthwaite said the company recently refinanced its secured debt, though it’s not a permanent solution to the company’s woes, according to a person with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be named because details are private. The company is also putting its international expansion on hold and focusing on the US and UK markets, where it generates almost all of its gross profit.
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