Ex-Apple CEO Ron Johnson, Enjoy Technology, files for bankruptcy

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Ron Johnson during a panel discussion at the CNBC Evolve New York event on June 19, 2019.

Astrid Stawiarz | CNBC

Enjoy Technology, a retail startup founded by former Apple and JC Penney executive Ron Johnson, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Thursday, just months after its debut in stock Exchange.

The company’s liquidities have been reduced while its activity has suffered from a lack of personnel. Enjoy, which operates mobile retail stores, went public in October through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC.

enjoy well said in a folder that it plans to sell its assets in the United States to the technological repair company Asurion.

Asurion has agreed to provide $55 million in financing so Enjoy can continue to operate as it reorganizes into bankruptcy protection from creditors, the filing said. Enjoy expects Asurion’s offer to be sufficient to pay all of its secured and unsecured creditors.

Enjoy and Asurion did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Johnson, who is also CEO of Enjoy, founded the company in 2014. He is best known for helping to establish Apple’s retail business and for trying to turn around department store chain JC Penney, but without success . He was there from 2011 to 2013, a period during which his strategy alienated the brand’s main customers.

Last year, amid a frenzy of SPAC deals, Enjoy went public through a merger with the black-check company Marquee Raine Acquisition Corp. At the time, the transaction valued the combined company at an enterprise value of approximately $1.2 billion.

But more recently, Enjoy was hurt in part when SPAC investors started getting their money back and the company was left with less money, according to court filings.

Enjoy listings of only $523,000 cash on hand. The company said it had already started laying off around 400 UK-based employees, around 18% of its total workforce.

Take advantage of trusted venture capital firms, including Kleiner Perkins and Andreessen Horowitz, as initial funders. Last spring, the company began evaluating strategic alternatives.

Its shares, which trade for less than 20 cents apiece, have fallen more than 96% this year, including Thursday’s losses.

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