Grand Rapids-based asset liquidation firm Liquid Asset Partners LLC has formed a joint venture with a Chicago-area company to focus on retail inventory and store closing liquidations.
Liquid Asset Partners has joined with Rolling Meadows, Ill.-based HyperAMS LLC to provide retail clients with asset disposition solutions, aiming to offer greater flexibility and lower cost than the avenues currently available. The partners named the joint venture HyperLiquid.
The formation of the joint venture follows the two companies informally partnering on projects throughout the last decade.
“This is a really cool opportunity for retailers, advisors and attorneys to have another option for their large project needs,” Bill Melvin, CEO of Liquid Asset Partners, said in a statement.
“Both companies have a track record of success. The new HyperLiquid will provide a scalable team that can handle any size project at lower costs. Both groups have managed and advised on projects with 100-plus stores and the combined experience and capabilities increase that. In this case, putting two good things together can lead to greater outcomes.”
Melvin is also CEO of Buell Motorcycle Co., an iconic superbike brand that he revived and established in Grand Rapids. Through Liquid Asset Partners, he acquired the assets of Erik Buell Racing LLC in 2016 for a reported $2 million.
HyperLiquid will amass 50 years of combined experience between both companies.
“We understand that what matters most to our clients is the cash we generate for them and the quality of the service we provide,” HyperAMS president Tom Pabst said. “We believe that in many situations, our ability to provide more flexible and lower cost structures than many of the large retail services firms in the industry can produce a greater net recovery for those clients. Ultimately, this is a better result for all stakeholders.”
The HyperLiquid joint venture comes as retailers face an uncertain future given the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on brick-and-mortar stores. To that end, 40 percent of retail CFOs said their companies planned to reevaluate their real estate footprint this year, according to a bi-annual retail bankruptcy outlook BDO USA LLP released in March. The accounting firm projected a slower pace of bankruptcies and store closings in 2021 compared to 2020, which had the largest number of retail bankruptcies since the 2009 recession.
“The initial impact of the coronavirus pandemic hastened trends that were negatively affecting the industry for several years, leading to a large number of bankruptcies. As a result, the most distressed retailers have already gone through a restructuring. However, a recovering economy and evolving industry will certainly result in more retailers struggling, leading to a lower — but steady — pace of filings and store closures,” according to the report.