Alex and Ani dismisses lawsuit against BofA

PROVIDENCE – Alex and Ani LLC has voluntarily dismissed its lawsuit against Bank of America that alleged sexism, ageism and discriminatory lending practices. The company sued the bank for more than $1 billion in damages.

The agreement between the parties included no payment by Bank of America, the bank confirmed Wednesday. The dismissal, filed earlier this week, came prior to Bank of America filing an answer to the allegations or a motion for summary judgement.

The lawsuit, filed in July, came after a consortium of banks determined Alex and Ani was in default on a $170 million loan. The lawsuit targeted only Bank of America of all seven banks participating in the loan.

“We are pleased that Alex and Ani has voluntarily withdrawn the lawsuit,” the bank said in a statement. “Bank of America strongly disagrees with the allegations made in the lawsuit and continues to support credit-worthy diverse businesses around the world. We look forward to continuing to work with Alex and Ani and the six other banks involved in the lending group.”

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The lawsuit’s allegations had claimed that bias against women led the bank to issue a default on the $170 million loan, causing a subsequent freeze on a revolving $50 million credit facility.

The company had argued that the move had caused Alex and Ani significant financial distress, “driving Alex and Ani towards bankruptcy and milking it for literally millions of dollars in fees.”

The lawsuit also had claimed that at the time, the default has resulted in $80 million in negative sales for Alex and Ani.

Alex & Ani’s dismissal was a dismissal with prejudice, meaning they cannot bring a lawsuit with the same action by law. A company spokesperson confirmed there was a resolution but would not speak on the matter further, instead offering a statement from an investor describing and praising the company.

“Alex and Ani is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for any private equity firm,” said Lyndon Lea, founder of Lion Capital and an investor of Cranston-based Alex and Ani.

Chris Bergenheim is the PBN web editor. You may reach him at Bergenheim@PBN.com.

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