An alternative investment fund manager in Portland helped rescuea Seattle-area barbershop after it filed for bankruptcy in earlyApril in connection with the coronavirus pandemic

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The co-founders of Rudy's Barbershop, which opened its firststorefront in Seattle in 1993, reached out to Sortis Holdings whentwo equity firms focused on distressed assets were trying to snapup the barbershop in bankruptcy proceedings.

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The co-founders worked with Sortis executives to pay about $2.5million for the barbershop and avoid the involvement of thedistressed equity firms.

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Sortis' William "Butch" Bannon and Executive Chairman PaulBrenneke said preserving businesses like Rudy's will be importantin the post-pandemic economy.

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"What intrigued us most beyond the investment itself was theopportunity to help preserve an iconic Seattle business and theculture it represented," Brenneke said. "It's these small tomid-sized companies with unique visions and customer experiencesthat can thrive in a new era of retail post pandemic."

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As Rudy's comes out of bankruptcy, it will focus onrecapitalizing, creating a strategic plan to preserve its cultureand, as restrictions related to coronavirus lift, providing a safeenvironment as an operating barbershop.

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Rudy's currently has 25 barbershops around the US, including 15in the Puget Sound area.

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Co-founder Wade Weigel said he's looking forward to returning tothe barbershop's roots.

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"When we founded Rudy's Barbershop it was always about more thana haircut. It was a place for creative and social exploration. Thespirit of Rudy's culture, employees, customers, and community isall about having fun, celebrating who you are, and exploring whoyou could be. These are the parts of Rudy's I am most excited toreconnect with," Weigel said.

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Sortis Holdings is a diversified investment firm with a focus onthe Western United States. In addition to lending and investing inreal estate, Sortis develops real estate through its affiliatecompanies.

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Jane Wester

Jane Wester is a litigation reporter for the New York Law Journal. Email her at [email protected] or find her on Twitter @janewester.