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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549
FORM 10-K
(Mark One)
ý  ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended: December 31, 2018
Commission File Number: 001-37527
OR
¨  TRANSITION REPORT UNDER SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
XCEL BRANDS, INC.
(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)
Delaware
 
76-0307819
(State or Other Jurisdiction of
Incorporation or Organization)
 
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)
 
1333 Broadway, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10018
 
 
(Address of Principal Executive Offices)
 
(347) 727-2474
(Issuer's Telephone Number, Including Area Code)
Securities registered under Section 12(b) of the Exchange Act:
Title of each class
 
Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock, $0.001 par value per share
 
NASDAQ Global Market
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Exchange Act:
None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes  ¨      No  ý
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes  ¨      No  ý
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act 1934 during the past 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes  ý  No  ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes  ý  No  ¨
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. 
Large accelerated filer ¨
Accelerated filer ¨
Non-accelerated filer x
Smaller reporting company x
(Do not check if a smaller reporting company)
Emerging Growth Company ¨
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). Yes  ¨    No  ý
The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates computed by reference to the price at which the common equity was last sold, or the average bid and asked price of such common equity, as of the last business day of the registrant’s most recently computed second fiscal quarter was $25,540,559 based upon the closing price of such common stock on June 30, 2018.
The number of shares of the issuer’s common stock issued and outstanding as of March 20, 2019 was 18,916,394 shares.
Documents Incorporated By Reference: None
 



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PART I
 
FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
 
This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, that involve risks and uncertainties. All statements other than statements of historical fact contained in this Annual Report, including statements regarding future events, our future financial performance, business strategy and plans and objectives of management for future operations, are forward-looking statements. We have attempted to identify forward-looking statements by terminology including “anticipates,” “believes,” “can,” “continue,” “ongoing,” “could,” “estimates,” “expects,” “intends,” “may,” “appears,” “suggests,” “future,” “likely,” “goal,” “plans,” “potential,” “projects,” “predicts,” “seeks,” “should,” “would,” “guidance,” “confident” or “will” or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding our anticipated revenue, expenses, profitability, strategic plans and capital needs. These statements are based on information available to us on the date hereof and our current expectations, estimates and projections and are not guarantees of future performance. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors, including, without limitation, the risks outlined under “Risk Factors” or elsewhere in this Annual Report, which may cause our or our industry’s actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Moreover, we operate in a very competitive and rapidly changing environment. New risks emerge from time to time and it is not possible for us to predict all risk factors, nor can we address the impact of all factors on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause our actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. You should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. Except as expressly required by the federal securities laws, we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, changed circumstances or any other reason.
 
The "Isaac Mizrahi New York®," “Isaac Mizrahi®," "IsaacMizrahiLIVE®," "Isaac Mizrahi Jeans," "Isaac Mizrahi CRAFT," "Judith Ripka LTD", "Judith Ripka Collection", "Judith Ripka Legacy", "Judith Ripka®", "Judith Ripka Sterling", "Halston", "Halston Heritage", "H by Halston®", "H Halston", "Roy Frowick", "C. Wonder " and "C. Wonder Limited" brands and all related logos and other trademarks or service marks of the Company appearing in this Annual Report are the property of the Company.
Item 1.    Business
Overview
Xcel Brands, Inc. is a media and consumer products company engaged in the design, production, marketing, and direct-to-consumer sales of branded apparel, footwear, accessories, jewelry, home goods and other consumer products, and the acquisition of dynamic consumer lifestyle brands. We have developed a Fast-to-Market supply chain capability driven by our proprietary integrated technology platform. Currently, our brand portfolio consists of the Isaac Mizrahi brand (the "Isaac Mizrahi Brand"), the Judith Ripka brand (the "Ripka Brand"), the H by Halston and H Halston brands (collectively, the "H Halston Brands"), the Halston brand, the Halston Heritage brand and Roy Frowick brand (collectively the "Halston Heritage Brands") and the C Wonder brand (the "C Wonder Brand").
Our vision is intended to reimagine shopping, entertainment, and social media as one. We design, produce, market and distribute products and, in certain cases, license our brands to third parties, and generates licensing fees. We and our licensees distribute through a ubiquitous-channel retail sales strategy, which includes distribution through interactive television, the Internet, and traditional ‘brick-and-mortar retail channels. By leveraging digital and social media content across all distribution channels, we seek to drive consumer engagement and generate retail sales across our brands. Our strong relationships with leading retailers and interactive television companies and cable network TV enable us to reach consumers in over 400 million homes worldwide and hundreds of millions of social media followers.
Our objective is to build a diversified portfolio of lifestyle consumer brands through organic growth and the strategic acquisition of new brands. To grow our brands, we are focused on the following primary strategies:
licensing our brands for distribution through interactive television (i.e. QVC, The Shopping Channel) whereby we design, manage production, merchandise the shows, and manage the on-air talent;
licensing our brands to manufacturers and retailers for promotion and distribution through e-commerce, social commerce, and traditional brick-and-mortar retail channels whereby we provide certain design services and, in certain cases, manage supply and merchandising;
distribution of our brands to retailers that sell to the end consumer (wholesale);
distribution of our brands through our e-commerce site directly to the end consumer;

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entering into strategic supply agreements directly with overseas factories for distribution to our retail partners and through our own direct-to-consumer e-commerce sites; and
quickly integrate additional brands into our operating platform and leverage our design, production, marketing capabilities, and distribution relationships.
We believe that Xcel offers a unique value proposition to our retail and direct-to-consumer customers, and our licensees for the following reasons:
our management team, including our officers’ and directors’ experience in, and relationships within the industry;
our Fast-to-Market supply chain and integrated technology platform that enables us to design and distribute trend-right product; and
our significant media and internet presence and distribution
Our Fast-to-Market platform was developed to shorten the supply chain cycle by utilizing state of the art supply chain management technology, trend analytics and data science to actively monitor fashion trends and read and react to customer demands.

Recent Highlights
In December 2017, we launched our Judith Ripka Fine Jewelry e-commerce operations, in January 2018 we launched our Judith Ripka Fine Jewelry wholesale operations, and in November 2018, we launched our apparel wholesale operations.

In February 2019, we acquired the Halston Heritage Brands. The acquisition of the Halston Heritage Brands gives us an opportunity to focus on the entirety of the Halston Brand, the various labels, and their design nuances while continuing to preserve the iconic American brand’s legacy.
Company History and Corporate Information
The Company was incorporated on August 31, 1989 in the State of Delaware under the name Houston Operating Company. On April 19, 2005, we changed our name to NetFabric Holdings, Inc. On September 29, 2011, Xcel Brands, Inc., a privately-held Delaware corporation (which we refer to as Old Xcel), Netfabric Acquisition Corp., a Delaware corporation and wholly owned subsidiary of the Company, and certain stockholders of the Company entered into an agreement of merger and plan of reorganization pursuant to which Netfabric Acquisition Corp. was merged with and into Old Xcel, with Old Xcel surviving as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company. On September 29, 2011, we changed our name to Xcel Brands, Inc.
Our principal office is located at 1333 Broadway, New York, NY 10018. Our telephone number is (347) 727-2474. Additionally, we maintain websites for our respective brands and an e-commerce site for our Judith Ripka brand at www.isaacmizrahi.com, www.judithripka.com, and www.cwonder.com. Our corporate website is www.xcelbrands.com.
Our Brand Portfolio
Currently, our brand portfolio consists of the Isaac Mizrahi Brand, the Judith Ripka Brand, the H Halston Brand, the Halston Heritage Brand and the C Wonder Brand, and the various labels under these brands.
Isaac Mizrahi
Isaac Mizrahi is an iconic American brand that stands for timeless, cosmopolitan style. Isaac Mizrahi, the designer, launched his eponymous label in 1987 to critical acclaim, including four Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) awards. Since then, this brand has become known and beloved around the world for its colorful and stylish designs. As a true lifestyle brand, under Xcel’s ownership it has expanded into over 150 different product categories including sportswear, footwear, handbags, watches, eyewear, tech accessories, home, and other merchandise. Under our ubiquitous-channel retail sales strategy, the brand is available across various distribution channels to reach customers wherever they shop: better department stores, such as Lord & Taylor and Hudson’s Bay; interactive television, including QVC and The Shopping Channel; and national specialty retailers. The brand is also sold in various global locations, including Canada, and the United Kingdom. We acquired the IsaacMizrahi brand in September 2011.
Judith Ripka
Judith Ripka is a luxury jewelry brand founded by Judith Ripka in 1977. This brand has become known worldwide for its distinctive designs featuring intricate metalwork, vibrant colors, and distinctive use of texture. The Judith Ripka Fine Jewelry collection consists of pieces in 18 karat gold and sterling silver with precious colored jewels and diamonds, and is currently available in fine jewelry stores, luxury retailers, and via e-commerce. A line of luxury watches was introduced in 2015. As Chief Designer, Ms. Ripka also launched an innovative collection of fine jewelry on QVC under the Judith Ripka Brand in 1996, where she offers

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customers fine jewelry, watches, and accessories at more accessible price points, including precious and semi-precious stones and multi-faceted diamonique stones made exclusively for the brand. In December 2017, we launched our Judith Ripka Fine Jewelry e-commerce operations and in January 2018, we launched the Judith Ripka Fine Jewelry wholesale operations.
Halston
Since our acquisition of the Halston Heritage Brands on February 11, 2019, we own all Halston labels under our brands. The Halston brand was founded by Roy Halston Frowick in the 1960s, and quickly became one of the most important American fashion brands in the world, becoming synonymous with glamour, sophistication, and femininity. Halston’s groundbreaking designs and visionary style still influence designers around the world today. We acquired the H Halston brands in December 2014 from HIP. We launched the H by Halston brand on QVC in September 2015, which is available exclusively through interactive television channels. In April 2016 we launched the H Halston brand lifestyle collection certain better department stores. Halston Heritage is distributed in premium retailers.
C Wonder
The C Wonder brand was founded by J. Christopher Burch in 2011 to offer a wide-ranging assortment of beautiful, versatile, and spirited products that are designed to transport its customers to a place they have never been. C Wonder offers women’s clothing, footwear, jewelry and accessories, and delightful surprises at every turn. We acquired the C Wonder Brand in July 2015, and launched the brand on QVC in March 2016. During the first quarter of 2017, we reached an agreement with QVC to enable us to transition the brand to a broader base of retailers, including department stores.
Growth Strategy
Our vision is intended to reimagine shopping, entertainment, and social media as one. To fulfill this vision, we plan to continue to grow the reach of our brand portfolio by leveraging our own internal design, production, integrated technology platforms and marketing expertise, and our relationships with our retail and direct-to-consumer customers, key licensees, manufacturers and retailers. We also continue to market our brands through our innovative ubiquitous-channel retail sales strategy. Our strategy includes distribution through interactive television, e-commerce, and traditional brick-and-mortar retail channels. By leveraging the reach and consumer engagement of our media partners, and by developing rich online video and social media content under our brands, our strategy is to drive increased customer engagement and generate sales across our channels of distribution. Key elements of our strategy include:

Expand and Leverage Fast-to-Market Production Platform. In 2015, we developed a Fast-to-Market production platform designed to deliver short lead production capabilities to our retail customers, helping drive traffic and enable retailers to respond quickly to customer demand - a read-and-react model. Our Fast-to-Market production platform shortens the supply chain cycle by utilizing state of the art product lifecycle management systems (“PLM”), proprietary merchandising strategies, 3D design, trend analytics, data science and consumer insight testing to actively monitor fashion trends, while leveraging our experience and know-how to quickly design, test, market, produce, and source high-quality goods. We launched womens’ sportswear collections under several of our brands in the department store channel through our Fast-to-Market production platform in 2016 and 2017 through a license, and in November 2018 we transitioned the license to a wholesale business model. Given some of the challenges facing the department store industry today, including declining customer traffic, aggressive mark-down cadence, and inability to respond quickly to customer demands, we developed this Fast-to-Market production platform to address these challenges and deliver a 360-degree solution to our retail partners, including design, marketing, production, and sourcing services. We intend to leverage the platform across additional brands and retailers, and believe that it provides us with a value-added service that differentiates us from our competitors and competing brands.
Continue to Develop our Integrated Technologies Platform. We are developing and investing in integrated technologies including PLM and ERP systems, 3D design, trend analytics, data science, and consumer insight testing as a refinement of our Fast-to-Market production platform in order to design and plan our apparel collections more efficiently and intelligently. Driven by short-lead marketing, such as social media and new direct-to-consumer business models, consumers now expect more from apparel brands and retailers, and we believe that the solution is to deliver to the customer what they want, when they want it, at a price that they can confirm is fair. Advances in 3D design technologies and software allow us to design more efficiently, seamlessly communicate technical aspects of designs with our manufacturing partners, and produce better fitting, more consistent products. Additionally, photo-realistic images generated by the current generation of 3D design software can be used to perform consumer insight testing on products, to determine demand and plan quantities for production even before a sample is made. Trend analytics including advanced algorithms focused on internet searches, social media, and inventory trends provide a forward-looking view of consumer design preferences and allow us to design into trends early-on, while data analytics will allow us to review performance and respond quickly in our read-and-react Fast-to-Market model. We will also seek to utilize machine learning and artificial intelligence to automate at least a portion of these functions.

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We believe that our investment into these technologies position us to provide unique and advanced solutions to retailers in the current and rapidly changing environment. Importantly, we believe that it will help us continue to grow our business across our brands and in private label production, and the integrated technologies platform itself should develop more significant value as we continue to build and develop it.
Expand Other Retail Partnerships. We have entered into promotional collaborations and/or marketing agreements with large global companies such as Hewlett Packard, Revlon, Johnson & Johnson, and Kleenex, and have developed exclusive programs through certain licensees for specialty retailers such as Best Buy and Bed Bath & Beyond. We plan to continue to develop strategic relationships under our brands that can leverage our media reach through interactive television and social media to drive traffic and sales for our brands and retail partners and enhance the visibility of our brands.
Expand Wholesale License Relationships. We have entered into numerous license agreements for various product categories under our brands. With the launch of our Fast-to-Market production platform in 2016, we have expanded the presence of our brands at department stores and subsequently launched additional categories in the department store channel, including footwear, handbags, dresses, costume jewelry, and sunglasses. We continue to seek opportunities to expand the businesses of our licensees, as well as entering into licenses for new categories under each of our brands where the category is authentic to the brand, for both our existing brands as well as brands that we may acquire and/or develop in the future.
Expand Internationally. In 2015, we expanded the Mizrahi Brand into Italy and France successfully on QVC and launched the H by Halston brand on QVC in the United Kingdom. In 2016, we expanded the Mizrahi Brand into the United Kingdom and the H by Halston brand into Italy and France on QVC. Halston Heritage is distributed through brick-and-mortar retail in Mexico and Canada. We plan to continue to expand our brands internationally and to license to certain international licensing partners the right to distribute products under our brands through department stores and other retailers in such international markets.
Deliver Quality Product Offerings. We employ a professional team to provide best in class design, production and distribution to ensure that our products adhere to stringent quality standards and design specifications that we have developed. We intend to continue to invest in our design and marketing capabilities in order to differentiate our services to our customers and licensees and our brands in the marketplace.
Acquire, Develop or Partner with Brands. We plan to continue to pursue the acquisition and/or development of additional brands or the rights to brands which we believe are synergistic and complementary to our overall strategy. Our brand acquisition and development strategy are focused on dynamic brands that we believe:
are synergistic to our existing portfolio of brands;
are strategic to our growth in a channel of distribution; and
are expected to be accretive to our earnings.
Licensing Design, Production and Marketing
Interactive TV
QVC is an important strategic partner in our interactive television business and is our largest licensee for each of our Mizrahi, Ripka and Halston brands. QVC’s business model is to promote and sell products through its interactive television programs and related e-commerce and mobile platforms. We employ and manage on-air spokespersons under each of these brands in order to promote products under our brands on QVC. According to QVC, QVC (including HSN) had global revenues of approximately $11.3 billion in 2018, of which e-commerce sales represented approximately $5.8 billion, and QVC’s programming currently reaches approximately 360 million homes worldwide. QVC was ranked as the number three mobile retailer in the U.S. according to the 2017 Internet Retailer Mobile 500, and as number four among multi-category retailers in North America, according to the 2016 Internet Retailer Top 500. Our agreements with QVC allow our on-air spokespersons to promote our non-QVC product lines and strategic partnerships under the Mizrahi, Ripka, and Halston Brands through QVC’s programs, subject to certain parameters including the payment of a portion of our non-QVC revenues to QVC. We believe that our ability to continue to leverage QVC’s media platform, reach, and attractive customer base to cross-promote products in and drive traffic to our other channels of distribution provides us a unique advantage.
In addition to full design services and marketing support, we also provide production to QVC. This business model allows us to focus on our core competencies of design, production, marketing, and brand management without much of the risk and investment requirements in inventory associated with traditional consumer product companies. The Mizrahi Brand is licensed through our wholly owned subsidiary, IM Brands, LLC (“IM Brands”), the Ripka Brand is licensed through our wholly owned subsidiary, JR Licensing, LLC (“JR Licensing”) and the Halston Brand is licensed through our wholly owned subsidiaries, H Licensing, LLC (“H Licensing”) and H Heritage Licensing, LLC ("H Heritage Licensing"),
QVC Agreements
Through our wholly owned subsidiaries, we have entered into direct-to-retail license agreements with QVC, pursuant to which we design, and QVC sources and sells, various products under our IsaacMizrahiLIVE brand, the Judith Ripka brands, the H by

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Halston brand, and the C Wonder brand. These agreements include, respectively, the QVC Agreement for the Mizrahi Brand (the "IM QVC Agreement"), the QVC Agreement for the Ripka Brand (the "Ripka QVC Agreement"), and the QVC Agreement for the H Halston Brand (the H Halston QVC Agreement"), (collectively, the “QVC Agreements”). QVC owns the rights to all designs produced under the QVC Agreements, and the QVC Agreements include the sale of products across various categories through QVC’s television media and related internet sites.
Pursuant to these agreements, we have granted to QVC and its affiliates the exclusive, worldwide right to promote our branded products, and the right to use and publish the related trademarks, service marks, copyrights, designs, logos, and other intellectual property rights owned, used, licensed and/or developed by us, for varying terms as set forth below. The Agreements include automatic renewal periods as detailed below unless terminated by either party.
Agreement
 
Current Term Expiry
 
Automatic Renewal
 
Xcel Commenced Brand with QVC
 
QVC Product Launch
IM QVC Agreement
 
September 30, 2020
 
one-year period
 
September 2011
 
2010
Ripka QVC Agreement
 
March 31, 2020
 
one-year period
 
April 2014
 
1999
H QVC Agreement
 
December 31, 2020
 
one-year period
 
January 2015
 
September 2015

In connection with the foregoing and during the same periods, QVC and its subsidiaries have the exclusive, worldwide right to use the names, likenesses, images, voices, and performances of our spokespersons to promote the respective products. Under the IM QVC Agreement, IM Brands has also granted to QVC and its affiliates, during the same period, exclusive, worldwide rights to promote third party vendor co-branded products that, in addition to bearing and being marketed in connection with the trademarks and logos of such third-party vendors, also bear or are marketed in connection with the IsaacMizrahiLIVE trademark and related logo.
Under the QVC Agreements, QVC is obligated to make payments to us on a quarterly basis, based upon the net retail sales of the specified branded products. Net retail sales are defined as the aggregate amount of all revenue generated through the sale of the specified branded products by QVC and its subsidiaries under the QVC Agreements, excluding freight, shipping and handling charges, customer returns, and sales, use, or other taxes.
Notwithstanding our grant of worldwide promotion rights to QVC, we may, with the permission of QVC, sell the respective branded products (i) to better or prestige retailers, but excluding discount divisions of such companies and mass merchants, (ii) via specifically branded brick-and-mortar retail stores, and (iii) via company websites, in exchange for making reverse royalty payments to QVC based on the net retail sales of such products through such channels.
Also, under the QVC Agreements, we will pay a royalty participation fee to QVC on revenue earned from the sale, license, consignment, or any other form of distribution of any products, bearing, marketed in connection with or otherwise associated with the specified trademarks and brands.
Under the QVC Agreements, we are restricted from selling products under the specified respective brands or trademarks (including the trademarks, copyrights, designs, logos, and related intellectual property themselves) to mass merchants. The QVC Agreements generally prohibit us from selling products under the specified respective brands or any of our other trademarks and brands to a direct competitor of QVC (generally defined as any entity other than QVC whose primary means of deriving revenue is the transmission of interactive television programs). In addition, during the terms of the IM QVC Agreement, and the Ripka QVC Agreement, and for one year thereafter, the respective subsidiary may not, without QVC’s consent, promote, advertise, endorse or sell (i) the specified branded products through any means or (ii) any products through interactive television. During the term of the H QVC Agreement, and for one year thereafter, H Licensing may not, without QVC’s consent, promote, advertise, endorse or sell any products, including the H by Halston Brands, through interactive television.
In addition to the foregoing, certain of the QVC Agreements permit us to promote brick-and-mortar collections on QVC’s television program subject to certain terms and restrictions.
While sales under the QVC Agreements have been generated primarily in the United States, we are in the process of expanding internationally. We commenced sales of our IsaacMizrahiLIVE brand through QVC in the United Kingdom in May 2014 and launched the brand through QVC in Italy in August 2015, France in September 2015, and Germany in November 2015. We began selling the Ripka Brand through QVC in Japan in May 2015. The H by Halston brand was launched on QVC in the United Kingdom

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in November 2015, Italy in August 2016, France in September 2016, and Germany in October 2016. We plan to continue to expand our brands internationally through QVC where QVC has or develops an international presence.
In addition, the Company also received fees from QVC related to the management and design of the LCNY brand pursuant to an agreement with Kate Spade Company (“KSC”), formerly Fifth & Pacific Companies, Inc. and formerly Liz Claiborne, Inc. (the “LCNY Agreement”). The LCNY Agreement expired July 31, 2016.
For the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017, net revenue from the QVC Agreements collectively accounted for 72% and 81%, respectively, of the total revenues of the Company.
H Halston Licensing Agreement
On December 22, 2014, H Licensing and HIP, entered into a trademark license agreement (the “HIP License Agreement”), whereby H Licensing granted to HIP a non-assignable exclusive sublicense to use the H Halston trademark in association with the manufacture, distribution, promotion, advertising, and sale of products bearing the H Halston trademark and any related services thereto in all channels of distribution, excluding interactive television and its related e-commerce and digital distribution, and excluding certain mass retailers. HIP was required to pay royalties to H Licensing during the term, with a minimum guaranteed royalty of $600,000 per year during the initial term for 2016 through 2024 and $1,200,000 for any year thereafter. Benjamin Malka, a director of our Company, is the chief executive officer and a 25% equity holder of House of Halston, LLC, the parent company of HIP.
On September 1, 2015, we entered into a license agreement with Lord & Taylor, LLC (the “L&T License”) and simultaneously amended the HIP License Agreement eliminating HIP’s minimum guaranteed royalty obligations, provided the L&T License is in effect. In addition, we entered into a sublicense agreement with HIP (the “HIP Sublicense Agreement”), obligating us to pay HIP on an annual basis the greater of (i) 50% of royalties received under the L&T License from H Halston products or (ii) guaranteed minimum royalties. Provided that Lord & Taylor is paying us at least $1,000,000 per quarter under the L&T License, the remaining contractually guaranteed minimum royalties are equal to $0.75 million, $0.75 million, $1.5 million, and $1.75 million for the twelve months ending January 31, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021, respectively.
On December 12, 2016, we entered into another license agreement for the H Halston brand with Dillard’s Inc. and affiliates (the “Dillard’s License”, and together with the L&T License, the “DRT Licenses”).
Through October 26, 2018, the Company and Halston Operating Company, LLC ("HOC"), a subsidiary of House of Halston ("HOH"), operated under an at-will license on the terms set forth below in lieu of the terms of the HIP License agreement and HIP sublicense agreement:
The HIP Trademark Usage and Royalty Participation Agreement, had an initial term that expired on December 31, 2020 unless sooner terminated or renewed, and required that we pay to HIP: (i) 50% of the excess H Halston Royalty paid to us under the DRT Licenses and any other third party licenses that we may enter into; (ii) 25% of the excess developed brand royalty paid to us for the Highline Collective Brand under the DRT Licenses, and 20% of the excess developed brand royalty paid to us for any subsequent developed brand under the DRT Licenses, and (iii) 10% of the excess private label brand royalty paid to us under the DRT Licenses and during the first term only of the DRT Licenses. Additionally, we have the right, but not the obligation, at any time after January 31, 2023, to terminate the obligations under points (ii) and (iii) above by paying to HIP an amount equal to four times the sum of the developed brand credits and private label credits for the contract year ending on January 31, 2023 (the "Buy Out Payment''). The Buy-Out Payment was payable by us and at our sole discretion either (a) in cash, or (b) in a number of common shares of Xcel calculated based on the amount of the Buy-Out Payment divided by the average closing price for common shares of Xcel on a national exchange for the preceding five trading days, subject to a minimum price for common shares of Xcel of $7.00 per common share.
A license and supply agreement with the Halston Operating Company, LLC (“HOC”), a subsidiary of HOH, with an initial term ending on January 31, 2022, subject to renewal. Under the HOC at-will license and supply agreement, HOC shall provide licensed products for sale to pre-approved retailers, including Hudson Bay Company ("HBC") and Dillard’s, and shall also be responsible for overseeing the visual merchandising and in-store retail environments for such approved retailers, and was responsible for training and oversight of any retail staff responsible for selling the licensed products within HBC and Dillard’s, as reasonably agreed upon between HOC and HBC and Dillard’s. The HOC at-will license and supply agreement provided for, among other things, design fees of $1.2 million for the period from July 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017, subsequent design fees of $2.4 million for the contractual yearly periods ending on January 31, 2019, and on December 31, 2020, 2021, and 2022, respectively, and sales-based royalties on the categories of products licensed under the agreement and the contractual year of payment.

Effective October 26, 2018, we terminated the HIP License Agreement and the HIP Sublicense Agreement. In addition, the at-will license was terminated and is no longer in effect.

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Other Licensing Agreements
We have entered into numerous other licensing agreements for sales and distribution through e-commerce and traditional brick-and-mortar retailers. Authorized distribution channels include department stores such as Lord & Taylor, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom’s, and Saks Fifth Avenue, off-price retailers such as Neiman’s Last Call, Nordstrom Rack, Saks Off Fifth, and TJX (including TJ Maxx, Marshall’s and Home Goods), and national specialty retailers such as Best Buy and Bed Bath & Beyond. Under our other licenses, a supplier is granted rights, typically on an exclusive basis, to a single or small group of related product categories for sale to multiple accounts within an approved channel of distribution and territory. Our other license agreements typically provide the licensee with the exclusive rights for a certain product category in a specified territory and/or distribution channel under a specific brand or brands. Our other license agreements cover various categories, including but not limited to women’s apparel, footwear, and accessories; bath and body; jewelry; home products; men’s apparel and accessories; children’s and infant apparel, footwear, and accessories; and electronics cases and accessories. The terms of the agreements generally range from three to six years with renewal options.
We are in discussions with other potential licensees and strategic partners to license and/or co-brand the Mizrahi brand, Ripka brand, Halston brand, and C Wonder brand for additional categories. In certain cases, we have engaged licensing agents to assist in the procurement of such licenses for which we or our licensees pay such agents’ fees based upon a percentage of the net sales of licensed products by such licensees, or a percentage of the royalty payments that we receive from such licensees. While many of the new and proposed licensing agreements will likely require us to provide seasonal design services, most of our new and prospective licensing partners have their own design staff, and we therefore expect low incremental overhead costs related to expanding our licensing business. We will endeavor, where possible, to require licensees to provide guaranteed minimum royalties under their license agreements.
Our licensees currently sell our branded licensed products through brick-and-mortar retailers, e-commerce, and in certain cases supply products to interactive television companies for sale through their television programs and/or through their internet websites. We generally recognize revenues from our other licenses based on a percentage of the sales of products under our brands, but excluding (i) sales of products to interactive television networks, where we receive a retail royalty directly from the interactive television licensee, and (ii) sales of products to e-commerce sites operated by us. Additionally, based upon guaranteed minimum royalty provisions required under many of the license agreements, we are able to recognize revenue related to certain other licenses based on the greater of the sales-based royalty or the guaranteed minimum royalty.
Wholesale and e-Commerce
In December 2017, we launched our Judith Ripka Fine Jewelry e-commerce business and in January 2018 we launched Judith Ripka Fine Jewelry wholesale operations. In November 2018 we launched our apparel wholesale business. Our strategy is to complement our interactive television and licensing business with a wholesale and direct-to-consumer business model by leveraging our design, merchandising, sourcing and production capabilities. Our goal is to grow our brands organically in multiple distribution channels and provide a platform that could enable us to acquire brands or develop private label brands for our retail partners.
Design and Promotional Services
We provide design and other services to certain of our licensees and, in some cases, for private label programs for certain of our retail partners. In particular, we provide all design services to QVC for products sold under the IM QVC Agreement, Ripka QVC Agreement and H QVC Agreement. This includes seasonal design guidance, product development and merchandising, product design and sample review and approvals through our in-house design organization. Additionally, the Company provides limited design services under wholesale licenses which may include seasonal design guidance (such as style guides) and/or print and pattern development, for which certain of our licensees pay us fixed fees for such services as determined in their agreements. In general, the design of products under our wholesale licenses is expected to be completed by the licensees at our direction.
In certain cases, the Company provides promotional services and collaborations with other brands or companies, which may include the use of our brands for the promotion of such company or brands through the internet, television, or other digital content, print media or other marketing campaigns featuring, in-person appearances by our celebrity spokespersons, the development of limited collections of products (which may include co-branded products) for such company, or other services as determined on a case-by-case basis. These include promotions with Hewlett Packard, Revlon, Johnson & Johnson, and Kleenex.
We also provide certain technology services to our retail partners and certain of our licensees under our proprietary integrated technology platform.
Marketing

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Marketing is a critical element to maximize brand value to our licensees and our Company. Therefore, we provide social media marketing and other marketing and public relations support for our brands.
Given our ubiquitous-channel retail sales strategy focusing on the sale of branded products through various distribution channels (including e-commerce, interactive television, and traditional brick-and-mortar sales channels), our marketing efforts currently focus on PR and fashion editorial, social media campaigns, personal appearances, and digital content in order to drive retail sales of product and consumer awareness across our various sales distribution channels. We seek to create the intersection where shopping, entertainment, and social meet. As such, our marketing is currently conducted primarily through social media, blogs, videos, images, and other digital content that are all updated regularly. Our efforts also include promoting namesakes of our brands and our personalities through various media including television (such as Project Runway All-Stars), design for performances, and other events. We also work with our retail partners to leverage their marketing resources, including e-commerce platforms and related digital marketing campaigns, social media platforms, direct mail pieces, and public relations efforts.
Our agreements with QVC allow our brand spokespersons to promote our non-QVC product lines and strategic partnerships under our brands through QVC’s programs, subject to certain parameters including the payment of a portion of our non-QVC revenues to QVC. We believe that this provides us with the ability to leverage QVC’s media platform (including television, e-commerce, and social media) and QVC’s customer base of approximately 400 million households worldwide to cross-promote products in and drive traffic to our other channels of distribution. Many of our licensees make advertising and marketing contributions to the Company under their license agreements which are used to fund marketing-related expenses and further promote our brands as we deem appropriate. Certain of the wholesale licenses contain requirements to provide advertising or marketing for our brands under their respective license agreements.
We also market the Mizrahi brand through www.isaacmizrahi.com, Halston Brand through www.halston.com, the Judith Ripka Fine Jewelry brand through www.judithripka.com and C Wonder brand through www.cwonder.com. Through our websites, we are able to present the products under our brands to customers with branding that reflects each brand’s heritage and unique point-of-view.
Our Judith Ripka Fine Jewelry brand e-commerce business growth is dependent on driving traffic to our website and converting our visitors into customers. Our strategy to focus on new customer acquisition has started to show results in 2018. This increase in our core customer base is fueling our rapid growth.
Competition
Each of our current brands has and any future acquired brand will likely have many competitors within each of its specific distribution channels that span a broad variety of product categories, including the apparel, footwear, accessories, jewelry, home furnishings and décor, food products, and sporting goods industries. These competitors have the ability to compete with the Company and our licensees in terms of fashion, quality, price, products, and/or marketing, and ultimately retail floor space and consumer spending.
Because many of our competitors have significantly greater cash, revenues, and resources than we do, we must work to differentiate ourselves from our direct and indirect competitors to successfully compete for market share with the brands we own and for future acquisitions. We believe that the following factors help differentiate our Company in an increasingly crowded competitive landscape:
our management team, including our officers’ and directors’ historical track records and relationships within the industry;
our brand management platform, which has a strong focus on design, product and marketing; and
our operating strategies of wholesales and direct-to consumer sales and licensing brands with significant media presence and driving sales through our ubiquitous-channel retail sales strategy across interactive television, brick-and-mortar, and e-commerce distribution channels.
We expect our and our existing and future licenses to relate to products in the apparel, footwear, accessories, jewelry, home goods, and other consumer products industries, in which our licensees face intense competition, including from our other brands and licensees. In general, competitive factors include quality, price, style, name recognition, and service. In addition, various fashion trends and the limited availability of shelf space could affect competition for our licensees’ products. Many of our licensees’ competitors have greater financial, distribution, marketing, and other resources than our licensees and have achieved significant name recognition for their brand names. Our licensees may be unable to successfully compete in the markets for their products, and we may not be able to continue to compete successfully with respect to our licensing arrangements.
Trademarks

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The Company, through its subsidiaries, owns and exploits the Mizrahi brands, which include the trademarks and brands Isaac Mizrahi, Isaac Mizrahi New York, IMNYC Isaac Mizrahi, and IsaacMizrahiLIVE; the Ripka brands, which include the trademarks and brands Judith Ripka LTD, Judith Ripka Collection, Judith Ripka Legacy, Judith Ripka, and Judith Ripka Sterling; all Halston- brands and trademarks, namely, Halston, Halston Heritage, Roy Frowick, H by Halston and H Halston; the C Wonder brands, which include the trademarks and brands C Wonder and C Wonder Limited; and the Highline Collective brand.
Where laws limit our ability to record in our name trademarks that we have purchased, we have obtained by way of license all necessary rights to operate our business. Certain of these trademarks and associated marks are registered or pending registration with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in block letter and/or logo formats, as well as in combination with a variety of ancillary designs for use in connection with a variety of product categories, such as apparel, footwear and various other goods and services including, in some cases, home furnishings and decor. The Company intends to renew and maintain registrations as appropriate prior to expiration and it makes efforts to diligently prosecute all pending applications consistent with the Company’s business goals. In addition, the Company registers its trademarks in certain other countries and regions around the world as it deems appropriate.
The Company and its licensees do not presently earn a material amount of revenue from either the licensing of our trademarks internationally or the sale of products under our trademarks internationally. However, the Company has registered its trademarks in certain territories where it expects that it may do business in the foreseeable future. If the Company or a licensee intends to make use of the trademarks in international territories, the Company will seek to register its trademarks in such international territories as it deems appropriate based upon factors including the revenue potential, prospective market and trademark laws in such territory or territories.
Generally, the Company is primarily responsible for monitoring and protecting its trademarks around the world. The Company seeks to require its licensing partners to advise the Company of any violations of its trademark rights of which its licensing partners become aware and relies primarily upon a combination of federal, state, and local laws, as well as contractual restrictions to protect its intellectual property rights both domestically and internationally.
Employees
As of December 31, 2018, we had 81 full-time employees and 9 part-time employees. None of our employees are represented by a labor union.
Government Regulation
We are subject to federal, state and local laws and regulations affecting our business, including those promulgated under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the Consumer Product Safety Act, the Flammable Fabrics Act, the Textile Fiber Product Identification Act, the rules and regulations of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and various environmental laws and regulations. We believe that we are in compliance in all material respects with all applicable governmental regulations.
Item 1A.    Risk Factors
In addition to the other information contained herein or incorporated herein by reference, the risks and uncertainties and other factors described below could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and share price and could also cause our future business, financial condition and results of operations to differ materially from the results contemplated by any forward-looking statement we may make herein, in any other document we file with the SEC, or in any press release or other written or oral statement we may make. Please also see “Forward-Looking Statements” on page 3 for additional information regarding Forward-Looking Statements.

Risks Related to Our Business

We have a limited amount of cash to grow our operations. If we cannot obtain additional sources of cash, our growth prospects and future profitability may be materially adversely affected, and we may not be able to implement our business plan. Such additional financing may not be available on satisfactory terms or it may not be available when needed, or at all.
As of December 31, 2018, we had cash and cash equivalents of approximately $8.8 million. Although we believe that our existing cash and our anticipated cash flow from operations will be sufficient to sustain our operations at our current expense levels for at least 12 months subsequent to the date of the filing of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, we may require significant additional cash to satisfy our working capital requirements, expand our operations or acquire additional brands, although historically we have funded acquisitions with debt and equity financing. Our inability to finance our growth, either internally through our operations

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or externally, may limit our growth potential and our ability to execute our business strategy successfully. If we issue securities to raise capital to finance operations and/or pay down or restructure our debt, our existing stockholders may experience dilution. In addition, the new securities may have rights senior to those of our common stock.
  
We have a limited operating history with our more recently acquired brands.

We have acquired and launched all of our brands other than the Mizrahi brands over the last five years, including our February 2019 acquisition of the Halston brands. Since we only recently acquired these brands, we have limited experience operating and managing these brands. Operating and managing these brands and/or any future brands that we may acquire may require the expenditure of a significant amount of our time and resources and could negatively impact our results of operations.
 
Our significant debt obligations could impair our liquidity and financial condition, and in the event we are unable to meet our debt obligations, we could lose ownership of our trademarks and/or other assets.
 
On February 12, 2019, we amended and restated our senior secured credit facility with Bank Hapoalim B.M., pursuant to which we extended the term of the existing term loan and entered into an additional term loan, which had an outstanding principal balance of $15.5 million as of December 31, 2018 under the credit facility. We have an outstanding balance of $22.0 million as of March 28, 2019 under the credit facility. In addition, we had previously issued to IM Ready-Made, LLC (“IM Ready”) a promissory note in connection with our acquisition of the Mizrahi business, which we refer to as the IM Seller Note, which had an outstanding balance of $742,000 as of December 31, 2018. Furthermore, we issued to Ripka non-interest bearing promissory notes in connection with our acquisition of the Ripka brands, which we refer to as the Ripka Seller Notes, of which 0.6 million of the principal amount remained outstanding as of December 31, 2018. We also have contingent obligations associated with the acquisitions of the Ripka brands and the C Wonder Brand, for which we have recorded $0.1 million and $2.9 million, respectively, as contingent obligations on our consolidated balance sheet as of December 31, 2018. The Ripka Seller Notes and the contingent obligation related to the C Wonder Brand may be payable in cash or common stock at our discretion. Additionally, in connection with the acquisition of the Halston brands in February 2019, we incurred a contingent payment obligation of up to $6.0 million, which we will record the fair value on our March 31, 2019 financial statements. We may also assume or incur additional debt, including secured debt, in the future in connection with, or to fund, future acquisitions or for other operating needs.
 
Our debt obligations:

could impair our liquidity;
could make it more difficult for us to satisfy our other obligations;
are secured by substantially all of our assets;
require us to dedicate a substantial portion of our cash flow to payments on our debt obligations, which reduces the availability of our cash flow to fund working capital, capital expenditures and other corporate requirements;
could impede us from obtaining additional financing in the future for working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions and general corporate purposes;
impose restrictions on us with respect to the use of our available cash, including in connection with future transactions;
could limit our ability to execute on our acquisition strategy; and
make us more vulnerable in the event of a downturn in our business prospects and could limit our flexibility to plan for, or react to, changes in our sales and licensing channels.
 
In the event that we fail in the future to make any required payment under the agreements governing our indebtedness or if we fail to comply with the financial and operating covenants contained in those agreements, we would be in default with respect to that indebtedness and the lenders could declare such indebtedness to be immediately due and payable. Our credit facility with Bank Hapoalim B.M has been amended in the past to eliminate or change the minimum EBITDA requirement for specified periods. There can be no assurance that Bank Hapoalim B.M. will amend the credit facility in the future to adjust or eliminate covenants or waive our non-compliance or breach of a financial or other covenant in the future. Termination of any of the QVC Agreements would also result in a default under our credit facility with Bank Hapoalim B.M. A debt default could significantly diminish the market value and marketability of our common stock and could result in the acceleration of the payment obligations under all or a portion of our indebtedness, or a renegotiation of our credit facility with Bank Hapoalim B.M. with more onerous terms and/or additional equity dilution. Since substantially all of our debt obligations are secured by our assets, upon a default, our lenders may be able to foreclose on our assets.
 
A substantial portion of our licensing revenue is concentrated with a limited number of licensees such that the loss of any of such licensees could decrease our revenue and impair our cash flows.
 

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A substantial portion of our revenues has been paid by QVC, through the QVC Agreements. During the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017, QVC accounted for approximately 72% and 81%, respectively, of our total revenue. Because we are dependent on these agreements with QVC for a significant portion of our revenues, if QVC were to have financial difficulties, or if QVC decides not to renew or extend its existing agreements with us, our revenue and cash flows could be reduced substantially. Our cash flow would also be significantly impacted if there were significant delays in our collection of receivables from QVC. Additionally, we have limited control over the programming that QVC devotes to our brands or its promotional sales with our brands (such as “Today’s Special Value” sales). QVC has reduced the programming time it devotes to jewelry and, accordingly, also to our Ripka brand, and if QVC further reduces or modifies its programming or promotional sales related to our brands, our revenues and cash flows could be reduced substantially. In order to increase sales of a brand through QVC, we generally require additional television programming time dedicated to the brand by QVC. QVC is not required to devote any minimum amount of programming time for any of our brands. 
 
While our business with QVC has grown since the IsaacMizrahiLIVE brand was launched through December 31, 2017, our 2018 QVC revenues were flat to 2017, and there is no guarantee that our QVC revenues will grow in the future or that they will not decline. Additionally, there can be no assurance that our other licensees will be able to generate sales of products under our brands or grow their existing sales of products under our brands, and if they do generate sales, there is no guarantee that they will not cause a decline in sales of products being sold through QVC.
 
Our agreements with QVC restrict us from selling products under our brands with certain retailers, or branded products we sell on QVC to any other retailer except certain interactive television channels in other territories approved by QVC, and provides QVC with a right to terminate the respective agreement if we breach these provisions.
 
Although most of our licenses and our QVC Agreements prohibit the sale of products under our brands to retailers who are restricted by QVC, and our license agreements with other interactive television companies prohibit such licensees from selling products to retailers restricted by QVC under the brands we sell on QVC outside of certain approved territories, one or more of our licensees could sell to a restricted retailer or territory, putting us in breach of our agreements with QVC and exposing us to potential termination by QVC. A breach of any of these agreements could also result in QVC seeking monetary damages, seeking an injunction against us and our other licensees, reducing the programming time allocated to our brands, and/or terminating the respective agreement, which could have a material adverse effect on our net income and cash flows. Termination of any one of our agreements with QVC would result in a default under our credit facility with Bank Hapoalim B.M. and would also enable Bank Hapoalim B.M. to foreclose on our assets, including our membership interests in our subsidiaries, which combined currently hold all of our trademarks and other intangible assets.
 
We are dependent upon the promotional services of Isaac Mizrahi as they relate to the Mizrahi brands.  
 
If we lose the services of Isaac Mizrahi, we may not be able to fully comply with the terms of our agreement with QVC, and it may result in significant reductions in the value of the Mizrahi brands and our prospects, revenues, and cash flows. Isaac Mizrahi is a key individual in our continued promotion of the Mizrahi brands and the principal salesperson of the Mizrahi brands on QVC. Failure of Isaac Mizrahi to provide services to QVC could result in a termination of the IM QVC Agreement, which could trigger an event of default under our credit facility with Bank Hapoalim B.M. Although we have entered into an employment agreement with Mr. Mizrahi and he is a significant stockholder of Xcel, there is no guarantee that we will not lose his services. To the extent that any of Mr. Mizrahi’s services become unavailable to us, we will likely need to find a replacement for Mr. Mizrahi to promote the Mizrahi brands. Competition for skilled designers and high-profile brand promoters is intense, and compensation levels may be high, and there is no guarantee that we would be able to identify and attract a qualified replacement, or if Mr. Mizrahi’s services are not available to us, that we would be able to promote the Mizrahi brands as well as we are able to with Mr. Mizrahi. This could significantly affect the value of the Mizrahi brands and our ability to market the brands, and could impede our ability to fully implement our business plan and future growth strategy, which would harm our business and prospects. Additionally, while we acquired all trademarks, image, and likeness of Isaac Mizrahi, pursuant to the acquisition of the Mizrahi business and his employment agreement, Mr. Mizrahi has retained certain rights to participate in outside business activities, including hosting and appearing in television shows, movies and theater productions, and writing and publishing books and other publications. Mr. Mizrahi’s participation in these personal business ventures could limit his availability to us and affect his ability to perform under this employment agreement. Finally, there is no guarantee that Mr. Mizrahi will not take an action that consumers view as negative, which may harm the Mizrahi brands as well as our business and prospects.  

We are dependent upon the promotional services of our other spokespersons for our other brands.
 
If we lose the services of a spokesperson, we may not be able to fully comply with the terms of our license agreements with QVC and The Shopping Channel, and it may result in significant reductions in the value of the brands and our prospects, revenues, and cash flows. Judith Ripka is the principal spokesperson of the Ripka brands on QVC and The Shopping Channel, and Cameron

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Silver is the principal salesperson of the H Halston brands on QVC. The failure of either of these spokespersons or our other spokespersons to provide spokesperson services to QVC or a breach of any representation, warranty or covenant by Ms. Ripka under the Ripka QVC Agreement or by Mr. Silver or our other spokespersons under their respective spokesperson agreements with QVC, combined with our failure to find an alternate host acceptable to QVC, could result in a termination of the respective QVC Agreement(s) which could trigger an event of default under our credit facility with Bank Hapoalim B.M. Although we have entered into employment agreements with our spokespersons, there is no guarantee that we will not lose their services. To the extent that any of their services as a spokesperson become unavailable to us, we will likely need to find a replacement to promote our brands. Competition for skilled brand promoters is intense, and required compensation levels may be high, and there is no guarantee that we would be able to identify and attract a qualified replacement, or that we would be able to promote our brands as well as we are able to with our current spokespersons. This could significantly affect the value of our brands and our ability to market the brands, and could impede our ability to fully implement our business plan and future growth strategy, which would harm our business and prospects. Each spokesperson has retained certain rights to participate in outside business activities. Each of these individuals’ participation in these personal business ventures could limit their availability to us and affect their ability to perform as a spokesperson in accordance with their respective employment agreements. Finally, there is no guarantee that one of these individuals will not take an action that the consumer views as negative, which may harm our brands as well as our business and prospects.
 
The failure of our licensees to adequately produce, market, source, and sell quality products bearing our brand names in their license categories or to pay their obligations under their license agreements could result in a decline in our results of operations and impact our ability to service our debt obligations.
 
Our revenues are dependent on payments made to us under our licensing agreements. Although the licensing agreements for our brands typically require the advance payment to us of a portion of the licensing fees and in many cases provide for guaranteed minimum royalty payments to us, the failure of our licensees to satisfy their obligations under these agreements or their inability to operate successfully or at all, could result in their breach and/or the early termination of such agreements, the non-renewal of such agreements or our decision to amend such agreements to reduce the guaranteed minimums or sales royalties due thereunder, thereby eliminating some or all of that stream of revenue. Moreover, during the terms of the license agreements, we are substantially dependent upon the efforts and abilities of our licensees to maintain the quality and marketability of the products bearing our trademarks, as their failure to do so could materially tarnish our brands, thereby harming our future growth and prospects. In addition, the failure of our licensees to meet their production, manufacturing, sourcing, and distribution requirements or actively market the branded licensed products could cause a decline in their sales and potentially decrease the amount of royalty payments (over and above the guaranteed minimums) due to us. A weak economy or softness in the apparel and retail sectors could exacerbate this risk. This, in turn, could decrease our potential revenues. The concurrent failure by several of our material licensees to meet their financial obligations to us could jeopardize our ability to meet the financial covenant requirements in connection with our debt facility or facilities. Further, such failure may impact our ability to make required payments with respect to such indebtedness. The failure to satisfy our financial covenant requirements or to make such required payments would give our lenders the right to accelerate all obligations under our debt facility or facilities and foreclose on our trademarks, license agreements, and other related assets securing such notes.
 
Our business is dependent on continued market acceptance of our brands and any future brands we acquire and the products of our licensees.
 
Although many of our licensees guarantee minimum net sales and minimum royalties to us, some of our licensees are not yet selling licensed products or currently have limited distribution of licensed products, and a failure of our brands or of products bearing our brands to achieve or maintain broad market acceptance could cause a reduction of our licensing revenues and could further cause existing licensees not to renew their agreements. Such failure could also cause the devaluation of our trademarks, which are our primary assets, making it more difficult for us to renew our current licenses upon their expiration or enter into new or additional licenses for our trademarks. In addition, if such devaluation of our trademarks were to occur, a material impairment in the carrying value of one or more of our trademarks could also occur and be charged as an expense to our operating results. Continued market acceptance of our brands and our licensees’ products, as well as market acceptance of any future products bearing any future brands we may acquire, is subject to a high degree of uncertainty and constantly changing consumer tastes, preferences, and purchasing patterns. Creating and maintaining market acceptance of our licensees’ products and creating market acceptance of new products and categories of products bearing our marks may require substantial marketing efforts, which may, from time to time, also include our expenditure of significant additional funds to keep pace with changing consumer demands, which funds may or may not be available on a timely basis, on acceptable terms or at all. Additional marketing efforts and expenditures may not, however, result in either increased market acceptance of, or additional licenses for, our trademarks or increased market acceptance, or sales, of our licensees’ products. Furthermore, we do not actually design or manufacture all of the products bearing our marks, and therefore, have less control over such products’ quality and design than a traditional product

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manufacturer might have. The failure of our licensees to maintain the quality of their products could harm the reputation and marketability of our brands, which would adversely impact our business.

Negative claims or publicity regarding Xcel, our brands or our products could adversely affect our reputation and sales regardless of whether such claims are accurate. Social media, which accelerates the dissemination of information, can increase the challenges of responding to negative claims. In the past, many apparel companies have experienced periods of rapid growth in sales and earnings followed by periods of declining sales and losses. Our businesses may be similarly affected in the future.
 
We expect to achieve growth based upon our plans to expand our business under our existing brands, and continue to develop a licensing business under the C Wonder brands. If we fail to manage our expected future growth, our business and operating results could be materially harmed.
 
We expect to achieve growth in our existing brands and intend to seek new opportunities and international expansion through interactive television and licensing arrangements and through expansion of our department store business, including Fast-to-Market production platform to include new retailers and to increase the products lines offered under this platform. The success of our company, however, will still remain largely dependent on our ability to build and maintain broad market acceptance of our brands, to contract with and retain key licensees and on our licensees’ ability to accurately predict upcoming fashion and design trends within customer bases and fulfill the product requirements of retail channels within the global marketplace.
 
Our recent growth has placed, and our anticipated future growth will continue to place, considerable demands on our management and other resources. Our ability to compete effectively and to manage future growth, if any, will depend on the sufficiency and adequacy of our current resources and infrastructure and our ability to continue to identify, attract and retain personnel to manage our brands and integrate any brands we may acquire into our operations. There can be no assurance that our personnel, systems, procedures and controls will be adequate to support our operations and properly oversee our brands. The failure to support our operations effectively and properly oversee our brands could cause harm to our brands and have a material adverse effect on the value of such brands and on our reputation, business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, we may be unable to leverage our core competencies in managing apparel and jewelry brands to managing brands in new product categories.
 
Also, there can be no assurance that we will be able to achieve and sustain meaningful growth. Our growth may be limited by a number of factors including increased competition among branded products at brick-and-mortar, internet and interactive retailers, decreased airtime on QVC, competition for retail licenses and brand acquisitions, and insufficient capitalization for future transactions.
 
The shift to our wholesale operations for our Fast-to-Market platform subjects us to additional risks, including the risk of our ability to execute a new strategy.

On November 1, 2018, we terminated the licensee pursuant to which our former licensee sold goods under our brands in conjunction with our license agreements with Lord & Taylor and Dillard’s. Our new strategy requires us to establish wholesaling operations whereby we are responsible to place, source, fulfill and deliver product orders to these retail customers. Our failure to design products, place, source and fulfill orders and deliver products of the quality required by our customers on a timely and cost-effective basis could result in additional costs under our supply agreements, subject us to possible termination of our supply agreements and otherwise have a material adverse effect on our operations. Moreover, our failure to execute our strategy could harm our reputation and negatively impact our ability to enter into additional supply and sourcing agreements.

Further, to the extent that our customers fail to make payment on their orders in a timely manner or at all, our cash flows and our ability to satisfy other orders may be adversely impacted.

We are subject to the risks associated with our Judith Ripka brand, including our recent transitioning of our non-QVC operations.  

We recently transitioned the non-QVC operations of our Judith Ripka brand to a wholesale and direct to consumer model. As a result, we changed these operations from a licensed model to a wholesale and direct-to-consumer business model. We commenced e-commerce sales and wholesales of our Judith Ripka brand. As a result, we do not have an established history of conducting these operations.

We produce product for our Judith Ripka brands to hold as inventory for sales through our website and wholesale accounts. If we misjudge the market for our Judith Ripka products, we may be faced with significant excess inventory for some products and missed opportunities for other products. In addition, weak sales and mark downs by our retailers or our need to liquidate excess

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inventory could adversely affect our results of operations. If we are not successful in managing our inventory balances, our cash flows and operating results may be adversely affected.
 
If our customers change their buying patterns, request additional allowances, develop their own private label brands or enter into agreements with national brand manufacturers to sell their products on an exclusive basis, our sales to these customers could be materially adversely affected.

Our customers’ buying patterns, as well as the need to provide additional allowances to customers, could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. Customers’ strategic initiatives, including developing their own private labels brands, selling national brands on an exclusive basis, reducing the number of vendors they purchase from, or reducing the floor space dedicated to our brands could also impact our sales to these customers. There is a trend among major retailers to concentrate purchasing among a narrowing group of vendors. To the extent that any key customer reduces the number of its vendors or allocates less floor space for our products and, as a result, reduces or eliminates purchases from us, there could be a material adverse effect on us.

Intense competition in the apparel, fashion and jewelry industries could reduce our sales and profitability.

As a fashion company, we face intense competition from other domestic and foreign apparel, footwear, accessories and jewelry manufacturers and retailers. Competition has and may continue to result in pricing pressures, reduced profit margins, lost market share or failure to grow our market share, any of which could substantially harm our business and results of operations. Competition is based on many factors including, without limitation, the following:

establishing and maintaining favorable brand recognition;
developing products that appeal to consumers;
pricing products appropriately;
determining and maintaining product quality;
obtaining access to sufficient floor space in retail locations;
providing appropriate services and support to retailers;
maintaining and growing market share;
developing and maintaining a competitive e-commerce site;
hiring and retaining key employees; and
protecting intellectual property.

 Competition in the apparel, fashion and jewelry industries is intense and is dominated by a number of very large brands, many of which have longer operating histories, larger customer bases, more established relationships with a broader set of suppliers, greater brand recognition and greater financial, research and development, marketing, distribution and other resources than we do. These capabilities of our competitors may allow them to better withstand downturns in the economy or apparel, fashion and jewelry industries. Any increased competition, or our failure to adequately address any of these competitive factors which we have seen from time to time, could result in reduced sales, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and operating results.

Competition, along with such other factors as consolidation within the retail industry and changes in consumer spending patterns, could also result in significant pricing pressure and cause the sales environment to be more promotional, as it has been in recent years, impacting our financial results. If promotional pressure remains intense, either through actions of our competitors or through customer expectations, this may cause a further reduction in our sales and gross margins and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and operating results.

Because of the intense competition within our existing and potential wholesale licensees’ markets and the strength of some of their competitors, we and our licensees may not be able to continue to compete successfully.
 
We expect our existing and future licenses to relate to products in the apparel, footwear, accessories, jewelry, home goods, and other consumer industries, in which our licensees face intense competition, including from our other brands and licensees. In general, competitive factors include quality, price, style, name recognition, and service. In addition, various fashion trends and the limited availability of shelf space could affect competition for our licensees’ products. Many of our licensees’ competitors have greater financial, distribution, marketing, and other resources than our licensees and have achieved significant name recognition for their brand names. Our licensees may be unable to successfully compete in the markets for their products, and we may not be able to continue to compete successfully with respect to our contractual arrangements.
 

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If our competition for licenses increases, or any of our current licensees elect not to renew their licenses or renew on terms less favorable than today, our growth plans could be slowed and our business, financial condition and results of operations would be adversely affected.
 
To the extent we seek to acquire additional brands, we will face competition to retain licenses and to complete such acquisitions. The ownership, licensing, and management of brands is becoming a more widely utilized method of managing consumer brands as production continues to become commoditized and manufacturing capacity increases worldwide. We face competition from numerous direct competitors, both publicly and privately-held, including traditional apparel and consumer brand companies, other brand management companies and private equity groups. Companies that traditionally focused on wholesale manufacturing and sourcing models are now exploring licensing as a way of growing their businesses through strategic licensing partners and direct-to-retail contractual arrangements. Furthermore, our current or potential licensees may decide to develop or purchase brands rather than renew or enter into contractual agreements with us. In addition, this increased competition could result in lower sales of products offered by our licensees under our brands. If our competition for licenses increases, it may take us longer to procure additional licenses, which could slow our growth rate.
 
The extent of our foreign sourcing may adversely affect our business.

We and our licensees work with several manufacturers overseas, primarily located in China and Thailand, during fiscal 2018. A manufacturing contractor’s failure to ship products to us in a timely manner or to meet the required quality standards could cause us to miss the delivery date requirements of our customers for those items. The failure to make timely deliveries may cause customers to cancel orders, refuse to accept deliveries or demand reduced prices, any of which could have a material adverse effect on us. As a result of the magnitude of our foreign sourcing, our business is subject to the following risks:

political and economic instability in countries or regions, especially Asia, including heightened terrorism and other security concerns, which could subject imported or exported goods to additional or more frequent inspections, leading to delays in deliveries or impoundment of goods;
imposition of regulations, quotas and other trade restrictions relating to imports, including quotas imposed by bilateral textile agreements between the U.S. and foreign countries;
currency exchange rates;
imposition of increased duties, taxes and other charges on imports;
labor union strikes at ports through which our products enter the U.S.;
labor shortages in countries where contractors and suppliers are located;
restrictions on the transfer of funds to or from foreign countries;
disease epidemics and health-related concerns, which could result in closed factories, reduced workforces, scarcity of raw materials and scrutiny or embargoing of goods produced in infected areas;
the migration and development of manufacturing contractors, which could affect where our products are or are planned to be produced;
increases in the costs of fuel, travel and transportation;
reduced manufacturing flexibility because of geographic distance between our foreign manufacturers and us, increasing the risk that we may have to mark down unsold inventory as a result of misjudging the market for a foreign-made product; and
violations by foreign contractors of labor and wage standards and resulting adverse publicity.

If these risks limit or prevent us from manufacturing products in any significant international market, prevent us from acquiring products from foreign suppliers, or significantly increase the cost of our products, our operations could be seriously disrupted until alternative suppliers are found or alternative markets are developed, which could negatively impact our business.

Fluctuations in the price, availability and quality of raw materials could cause delays and increase costs and cause our operating results and financial condition to suffer.

Fluctuations in the price, availability and quality of the fabrics or other raw materials, particularly cotton, silk, leather and synthetics used in our manufactured apparel, and gold, silver and other precious and semi-precious metals and gem stones used in our jewelry, could have a material adverse effect on cost of sales or our ability to meet customer demands. The prices of fabrics, precious and semi-precious metals and gemstones depend largely on the market prices of the raw materials used to produce them. The price and availability of the raw materials and, in turn, the fabrics, precious and semi-precious metals and gem stones used in our apparel and jewelry may fluctuate significantly, depending on many factors, including crop yields, weather patterns, labor costs and changes in oil prices. We may not be able to create suitable design solutions that utilize raw materials with attractive prices or, alternatively, to pass higher raw materials prices and related transportation costs on to our customers. We are not always successful in our efforts to protect our business from the volatility of the market price of raw materials, and our business can be materially affected by

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dramatic movements in prices of raw materials. The ultimate effect of this change on our earnings cannot be quantified, as the effect of movements in raw materials prices on industry selling prices are uncertain, but any significant increase in these prices could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and operating results.

Our reliance on independent manufacturers could cause delays or quality issues which could damage customer relationships.

We use approximately eight independent manufacturers to assemble or produce all of our products. We are dependent on the ability of these independent manufacturers to adequately finance the production of goods ordered and maintain sufficient manufacturing capacity. The use of independent manufacturers to produce finished goods and the resulting lack of direct control could subject us to difficulty in obtaining timely delivery of products of acceptable quality. We generally do not have long-term written agreements with any independent manufacturers. As a result, any single manufacturing contractor could unilaterally terminate its relationship with us at any time. Supply disruptions from these manufacturers (or any of our other manufacturers) could have a material adverse effect on our ability to meet customer demands, if we are unable to source suitable replacement materials at acceptable prices or at all. Moreover, alternative manufacturers, if available, may not be able to provide us with products or services of a comparable quality, at an acceptable price or on a timely basis. We may also, from time to time, make a decision to enter into a relationship with a new manufacturer. Identifying a suitable supplier is an involved process that requires us to become satisfied with their quality control, responsiveness and service, financial stability and labor and other ethical practices. There can be no assurance that there will not be a disruption in the supply of our products from independent manufacturers or that any new manufacturer will be successful in producing our products in a manner we expected. The failure of any independent manufacturer to perform or the loss of any independent manufacturer could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

If our independent manufacturers fail to use ethical business practices and comply with applicable laws and regulations, our brand image could be harmed due to negative publicity.

We have established and currently maintain operating guidelines which promote ethical business practices such as fair wage practices, compliance with child labor laws and other local laws. While we monitor compliance with those guidelines, we do not control our independent manufacturers or their business practices. Accordingly, we cannot guarantee their compliance with our guidelines. A lack of demonstrated compliance could lead us to seek alternative suppliers, which could increase our costs and result in delayed delivery of our products, product shortages or other disruptions of our operations.

Violation of labor or other laws by our independent manufacturers or the divergence of an independent manufacturer’s labor or other practices from those generally accepted as ethical in the U.S. or other markets in which we do business could also attract negative publicity for us and our brand. From time to time, our audit results have revealed a lack of compliance in certain respects, including with respect to local labor, safety and environmental laws. Other fashion companies have faced criticism after highly-publicized incidents or compliance issues have occurred or been exposed at factories producing their products. To the extent our manufacturers do not bring their operations into compliance with such laws or resolve material issues identified in any of our audit results, we may face similar criticism and negative publicity. This could diminish the value of our brand image and reduce demand for our merchandise. In addition, other fashion companies have encountered organized boycotts of their products in such situations. If we, or other companies in our industry, encounter similar problems in the future, it could harm our brand image, stock price and results of operations.

Monitoring compliance by independent manufacturers is complicated by the fact that expectations of ethical business practices continually evolve, may be substantially more demanding than applicable legal requirements and are driven in part by legal developments and by diverse groups active in publicizing and organizing public responses to perceived ethical shortcomings. Accordingly, we cannot predict how such expectations might develop in the future and cannot be certain that our guidelines would satisfy all parties who are active in monitoring and publicizing perceived shortcomings in labor and other business practices worldwide.

If we are unable to identify and successfully acquire additional trademarks, our growth may be limited and, even if additional trademarks are acquired, we may not realize anticipated benefits due to integration or licensing difficulties.
 
While we are focused on growing our existing brands, we intend to selectively seek to acquire additional intellectual property. However, as our competitors continue to pursue a brand management model, acquisitions may become more expensive and suitable acquisition candidates could become more difficult to find. In addition, even if we successfully acquire additional intellectual property or the rights to use additional intellectual property, we may not be able to achieve or maintain profitability levels that justify our investment in, or realize planned benefits with respect to, those additional brands.
 

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Although we will seek to temper our acquisition risks by following acquisition guidelines relating to purchase price and valuation, projected returns, existing strength of the brand, its diversification benefits to us, its potential licensing scale and creditworthiness of licensee base, acquisitions, whether they be of additional intellectual property assets or of the companies that own them, entail numerous risks, any of which could detrimentally affect our reputation, our results of operations, and/or the value of our common stock. These risks include, among others: 

unanticipated costs associated with the target acquisition or its integration with our company;
our ability to identify or consummate additional quality business opportunities, including potential licenses and new product lines and markets;
negative effects on reported results of operations from acquisition related charges and costs, and amortization of acquired intangibles;
diversion of management’s attention from other business concerns;
the challenges of maintaining focus on, and continuing to execute, core strategies and business plans as our brand and license portfolio grows and becomes more diversified;
adverse effects on existing licensing and other relationships;
potential difficulties associated with the retention of key employees, and difficulties, delays and unanticipated costs associated with the assimilation of personnel, operations, systems and cultures, which may be retained by us in connection with or as a result of our acquisitions;
risks of entering new domestic and international markets (whether it be with respect to new licensed product categories or new licensed product distribution channels) or markets in which we have limited prior experience; and
increased concentration in our revenues with one or more customers in the event that the brand has distribution channels in which we currently distribute products under one or more of our brands.
 
When we acquire intellectual property assets or the companies that own them, our due diligence reviews are subject to inherent uncertainties and may not reveal all potential risks. We may therefore fail to discover or inaccurately assess undisclosed or contingent liabilities, including liabilities for which we may have responsibility as a successor to the seller or the target company. As a successor, we may be responsible for any past or continuing violations of law by the seller or the target company. Although we will generally attempt to seek contractual protections through representations, warranties and indemnities, we cannot be sure that we will obtain such provisions in our acquisitions or that such provisions will fully protect us from all unknown, contingent or other liabilities or costs. Finally, claims against us relating to any acquisition may necessitate our seeking claims against the seller for which the seller may not, or may not be able to, indemnify us or that may exceed the scope, duration or amount of the seller’s indemnification obligations.
 
Acquiring additional intellectual property could also have a significant effect on our financial position and could cause substantial fluctuations in our quarterly and yearly operating results. Acquisitions could result in the recording of significant goodwill and intangible assets on our financial statements, the amortization or impairment of which would reduce our reported earnings in subsequent years. No assurance can be given with respect to the timing, likelihood or financial or business effect of any possible transaction. Moreover, our ability to grow through the acquisition of additional intellectual property will also depend on the availability of capital to complete the necessary acquisition arrangements. In the event that we are unable to obtain debt financing on acceptable terms for a particular acquisition, we may elect to pursue the acquisition through the issuance by us of shares of our common stock (and, in certain cases, convertible securities) as equity consideration, which could dilute our common stock and reduce our earnings per share, and any such dilution could reduce the market price of our common stock unless and until we were able to achieve revenue growth or cost savings and other business economies sufficient to offset the effect of such an issuance. Acquisitions of additional brands may also involve challenges related to integration into our existing operations, merging diverse cultures, and retaining key employees. Any failure to integrate additional brands successfully in the future may adversely impact our reputation and business.
  
As a result, there is no guarantee that our stockholders will achieve greater returns as a result of any future acquisitions we complete.

Our failure to protect our proprietary rights could compromise our competitive position and decrease the value of our brands.
 
We own, through our wholly owned subsidiaries, various U.S. federal trademark registrations and foreign trademark registrations for our brands, together with pending applications for registration, which are vital to the success and further growth of our business and which we believe have significant value. We rely primarily upon a combination of trademarks, copyrights, and contractual restrictions to protect and enforce our intellectual property rights domestically and internationally. We believe that such measures afford only limited protection and, accordingly, there can be no assurance that the actions taken by us to establish, protect, and enforce our trademarks and other proprietary rights will prevent infringement of our intellectual property rights by others, or prevent the loss of licensing revenue or other damages caused therefrom.
 

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For instance, despite our efforts to protect and enforce our intellectual property rights, unauthorized parties may attempt to copy aspects of our intellectual property, which could harm the reputation of our brands, decrease their value, and/or cause a decline in our licensees’ sales and thus our revenues. Further, we and our licensees may not be able to detect infringement of our intellectual property rights quickly or at all, and at times, we or our licensees may not be successful in combating counterfeit, infringing, or knockoff products, thereby damaging our competitive position. In addition, we depend upon the laws of the countries where our licensees’ products are sold to protect our intellectual property. Intellectual property rights may be unavailable or limited in some countries because standards of registration and ownership vary internationally. Consequently, in certain foreign jurisdictions, we have elected or may elect not to apply for trademark registrations. Also, in certain jurisdictions, as described above, certain H by Halston and H Halston trademark registrations or applications that we acquired (including but not limited to those based upon “intent to use”) may not yet be recorded in our name, due to laws governing the timing and nature of certain trademark assignments. Where laws limit our ability to record in our name trademarks that we have purchased, we have obtained by way of license all necessary rights to operate our business.
 
While we generally apply for trademarks in most countries where we license or intend to license our trademarks, we may not accurately predict all of the countries where trademark protection will ultimately be desirable. If we fail to timely file a trademark application in any such country, we may be precluded from obtaining a trademark registration in such country at a later date. Failure to adequately pursue and enforce our trademark rights could damage our brands, enable others to compete with our brands and impair our ability to compete effectively.
 
In addition, in the future, we may be required to assert infringement claims against third parties or more third parties may assert infringement claims against us. Any resulting litigation or proceeding could result in significant expense to us and divert the efforts of our management personnel, whether or not such litigation or proceeding is determined in our favor. To the extent that any of our trademarks were ever deemed to violate the proprietary rights of others in any litigation or proceeding or as a result of any claim, we may be prevented from using them, which could cause a termination of our contractual arrangements, and thus our revenue stream, with respect to those trademarks. Litigation could also result in a judgment or monetary damages being levied against us.
 
We are dependent upon our Chief Executive Officer and other key executives. If we lose the services of these individuals we may not be able to fully implement our business plan and future growth strategy, which would harm our business and prospects.
 
Our success is largely dependent upon the efforts of Robert D’Loren, our Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of our board of directors. Our continued success is largely dependent upon his continued efforts and those of our other key executives. Although we entered into an employment agreement with Mr. D’Loren, as well as employment agreements with other executives and key employees, including Isaac Mizrahi and Judith Ripka, such persons can terminate their employment with us at their option, and there is no guarantee that we will not lose the services of our executive officers or key employees. To the extent that any of their services become unavailable to us, we will be required to hire other qualified executives, and we may not be successful in finding or hiring adequate replacements. This could impede our ability to fully implement our business plan and future growth strategy, which would harm our business and prospects. In addition, Bank Hapoalim B.M. requires that Robert D’Loren is the Chairman of the board of directors of the Company. The failure of Mr. D’Loren to continue in his duties as Chairman of our board of directors would result in a default under the credit facility with Bank Hapoalim B.M.
  
Our trademarks and other intangible assets are subject to impairment charges under accounting guidelines.
 
Intangible assets, including our trademarks represent a substantial portion of our assets. Under accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“GAAP”), indefinite lived intangible assets, including our trademarks, are not amortized, but must be tested for impairment annually or more frequently if events or circumstances indicate the asset may be impaired. The estimated useful life of an intangible asset must be evaluated each reporting period to determine whether events and circumstances continue to support an indefinite useful life. Finite lived intangible assets are amortized over their estimated useful lives. Non-renewal of license agreements or other factors affecting our market segments or brands could result in significantly reduced revenue for a brand, which could result in a devaluation of the affected trademark. If such devaluations of our trademarks were to occur, a material impairment in the carrying value of one or more of our trademarks could also occur and be charged as a non-cash expense to our operating results, which could be material. Any further write-down of intangible assets resulting from future periodic evaluations would, as applicable, either decrease our net income or increase our net loss and those decreases or increases could be material.
 
Changes in effective tax rates or adverse outcomes resulting from examination of our income or other tax returns could adversely affect our results.
 

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Our future effective tax rates could be adversely affected by changes in the valuation of our deferred tax assets and liabilities, or by changes in tax laws or by a change in allocation of state and local jurisdictions, or interpretations thereof. The Company currently files U.S. federal tax returns and various state tax returns. Tax years that remain open for assessment for federal and state purposes include years ended December 31, 2015 through December 31, 2018. We regularly assess the likelihood of recovering the amount of deferred tax assets recorded on the balance sheet and the likelihood of adverse outcomes resulting from examinations by various taxing authorities in order to determine the adequacy of our provision for income taxes. Although under the 2018 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Federal tax rates are lower, certain expenses will be either reduced or eliminated, causing the Company to have increased taxable income, which may have an adverse effect on our future income tax obligations. We cannot guarantee that the outcomes of these evaluations and continuous examinations will not harm our reported operating results and financial condition.
 
We must successfully maintain and/or upgrade our information technology systems.
 
We rely on various information technology systems to manage our operations, which subject us to inherent costs and risks associated with maintaining, upgrading, replacing, and changing these systems, including impairment of our information technology, potential disruption of our internal control systems, substantial capital expenditures, demands on management time, cyber security breaches and other risks of delays or difficulties in upgrading, transitioning to new systems, or of integrating new systems into our current systems.
 
A decline in general economic conditions resulting in a decrease in consumer spending levels and an inability to access capital may adversely affect our business.
 
The success of our operations depends on consumer spending. Consumer spending is impacted by a number of factors which are beyond our control, including actual and perceived economic conditions affecting disposable consumer income (such as unemployment, wages, energy costs and consumer debt levels), customer traffic within shopping and selling environments, business conditions, interest rates and availability of credit and tax rates in the general economy and in the international, regional and local markets in which our products are sold. Global economic conditions historically included significant recessionary pressures and declines in employment levels, disposable income and actual and/or perceived wealth and further declines in consumer confidence and economic growth. A depressed economic environment is often characterized by a decline in consumer discretionary spending and has disproportionately affected retailers and sellers of consumer goods, particularly those whose goods are viewed as discretionary or luxury purchases, including fashion apparel and accessories such as ours. Such factors as well as another shift towards recessionary conditions have in the past, and could in the future, devalue our brands, which could result in an impairment in its carrying value, which could be material, create downward pricing pressure on the products carrying our brands, and adversely impact our sales volumes and overall profitability. Further, economic and political volatility and declines in the value of foreign currencies could negatively impact the global economy as a whole and have a material adverse effect on the profitability and liquidity of our operations, as well as hinder our ability to grow through expansion in the international markets. In addition, domestic and international political situations also affect consumer confidence, including the threat, outbreak or escalation of terrorism, military conflicts or other hostilities around the world. Furthermore, changes in the credit and capital markets, including market disruptions, limited liquidity, and interest rate fluctuations, may increase the cost of financing or restrict our access to potential sources of capital for future acquisitions.
 
The risks associated with our business are more acute during periods of economic slowdown or recession. Accordingly, any prolonged economic slowdown or a lengthy or severe recession with respect to either the U.S. or the global economy is likely to have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition, and business prospects.

System security risk issues as well as other major system failures could disrupt our internal operations or information technology services, and any such disruption could negatively impact our net sales, increase our expenses and harm our reputation.

Experienced computer programmers and hackers, and even internal users, may be able to penetrate our network security and misappropriate our confidential information or that of third parties, including our customers, enter into or facilitate fraudulent transactions, create system disruptions or cause shutdowns. In addition, employee error, malfeasance or other errors in the storage, use or transmission of any such information could result in a disclosure to third parties outside of our network. As a result, we could incur significant expenses addressing problems created by any such inadvertent disclosure or any security breaches of our network. In addition, we rely on third parties for the operation of our websites, and for the various social media tools and websites we use as part of our marketing strategy.

Consumers are increasingly concerned over the security of personal information transmitted over the internet, consumer identity theft and user privacy, and any compromise of customer information could subject us to customer or government litigation and harm our reputation, which could adversely affect our business and growth. Moreover, we could incur significant expenses or

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disruptions of our operations in connection with system failures or breaches. In addition, sophisticated hardware and operating system software and applications that we procure from third parties may contain defects in design or manufacture, including “bugs” and other problems that could unexpectedly interfere with the operation of our systems. The costs to us to eliminate or alleviate security problems, viruses and bugs, or any problems associated with our newly transitioned systems or outsourced services could be significant, and the efforts to address these problems could result in interruptions, delays or cessation of service that may impede our sales, distribution or other critical functions. In addition to taking the necessary precautions ourselves, we require that third-party service providers implement reasonable security measures to protect our customers’ identity and privacy as well as credit card information. We do not, however, control these third-party service providers and cannot guarantee that no electronic or physical computer break-ins and security breaches will occur in the future. We could also incur significant costs in complying with the multitude of state, federal and foreign laws, including the European Union’s general data protection regulations to be effective in May 2018, regarding the use and unauthorized disclosure of personal information, to the extent they are applicable. In the case of a disaster affecting our information technology systems, we may experience delays in recovery of data, inability to perform vital corporate functions, tardiness in required reporting and compliance, failures to adequately support our operations and other breakdowns in normal communication and operating procedures that could materially and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

Changes in laws could make conducting our business more expensive or otherwise change the way we do business.

We are subject to numerous domestic and international regulations, including labor and employment, customs, truth-in-advertising, consumer protection, data protection, and zoning and occupancy laws and ordinances that regulate retailers generally or govern the importation, promotion and sale of merchandise and the operation of stores and warehouse facilities. If these regulations were to change or were violated by our management, employees, vendors, independent manufacturers or partners, the costs of certain goods could increase, or we could experience delays in shipments of our products, be subject to fines or penalties, or suffer reputational harm, which could reduce demand for our merchandise and hurt our business and results of operations.

In addition to increased regulatory compliance requirements, changes in laws could make ordinary conduct of business more expensive or require us to change the way we do business. Laws related to employee benefits and treatment of employees, including laws related to limitations on employee hours, supervisory status, leaves of absence, mandated health benefits, overtime pay, unemployment tax rates and citizenship requirements, could negatively impact us, by increasing compensation and benefits costs, which would in turn reduce our profitability.

Moreover, changes in product safety or other consumer protection laws could lead to increased costs to us for certain merchandise, or additional labor costs associated with readying merchandise for sale. It is often difficult for us to plan and prepare for potential changes to applicable laws and future actions or payments related to such changes could be material to us.
 
Risks Related to an Investment in Our Securities
 
If we fail to maintain an effective system of internal control, we may not be able to report our financial results accurately or in a timely fashion, and we may not be able to prevent fraud. In such case, our stockholders could lose confidence in our financial reporting, which would harm our business and could negatively impact the price of our stock.
 
Pursuant to Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, we are required to include in our Annual Report on Form 10-K our assessment of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting. We have dedicated a significant amount of time and resources to ensure compliance with this legislation for the year ended December 31, 2018 and will continue to do so for future fiscal periods. We cannot be certain that future material changes to our internal control over financial reporting will be effective. If we cannot adequately maintain the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting, we may be subject to sanctions or investigation by regulatory authorities, such as the SEC. Any such action could adversely affect our financial results and the market price of our common stock. Moreover, if we discover a material weakness, the disclosure of that fact, even if quickly remedied, could reduce the market’s confidence in our financial statements and harm our stock price.
 
Our independent registered public accounting firm will not be required to attest to the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting until we are no longer a “smaller reporting company.” At such time that an attestation is required, our independent registered public accounting firm may issue a report that is adverse or qualified in the event that they are not satisfied with the level at which our controls are documented, designed or operating. Our remediation efforts may not enable us to avoid a material weakness or significant deficiency in the future.
 
Management exercises significant control over matters requiring shareholder approval, which may result in the delay or prevention of a change in our control.
 

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Pursuant to a voting agreement, IM Ready-Made, LLC, Isaac Mizrahi, and Marisa Gardini agreed to appoint a person designated by our board of directors as their collective irrevocable proxy and attorney-in-fact with respect to the shares of the common stock received by them. The proxy holder will vote in favor of matters recommended or approved by the board of directors. The board of directors has designated Robert D’Loren as proxy. Also, pursuant to separate voting agreements, each of Ripka and HIP and certain other parties have agreed to appoint Mr. D’Loren as their respective irrevocable proxy and attorney-in-fact with respect to the shares of the common stock issued to them by us. The proxy holder shall vote in favor of matters recommended or approved by the board of directors.
  
The combined voting power of the common stock ownership of our officers, directors, and key employees is approximately 59% of our voting securities as of December 31, 2018. As a result, our management and key employees through such stock ownership will exercise significant influence over all matters requiring shareholder approval, including the election of our directors and approval of significant corporate transactions. This concentration of ownership in management and key employees may also have the effect of delaying or preventing a change in control of us that may be otherwise viewed as beneficial by stockholders other than management. There is also a risk that our existing management and a limited number of stockholders may have interests which are different from certain stockholders and that they will pursue an agenda which is beneficial to themselves at the expense of other stockholders.
 
There are limitations on the liabilities of our directors and executive officers. Under certain circumstances, we are obligated to indemnify our directors and executive officers against liability and expenses incurred by them in their service to us.
 
Pursuant to our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and under Delaware law, our directors are not liable to us or our stockholders for monetary damages for breach of fiduciary duty, except for liability for breach of a director’s duty of loyalty, acts or omissions by a director not in good faith or which involve intentional misconduct or a knowing violation of law, dividend payments or stock repurchases that are unlawful under Delaware law or any transaction in which a director has derived an improper personal benefit. In addition, we have entered into indemnification agreements with each of our directors and executive officers. These agreements, among other things, require us to indemnify each director and executive officer for certain expenses, including attorneys’ fees, judgments, fines and settlement amounts, incurred by any such person in any action or proceeding, including any action by us or in our right, arising out of the person’s services as one of our directors or executive officers. The costs associated with providing indemnification under these agreements could be harmful to our business and have an adverse effect on results of operations.
 
Our common stock is currently thinly traded, and you may be unable to sell at or near ask prices or at all if you need to sell or liquidate a substantial number of shares at one time.
 
Although our common stock is listed on the NASDAQ Global Market, our common stock is currently traded at relatively low volumes. As a result, the number of persons interested in purchasing our common stock at or near bid prices at any given time may be relatively small. This situation is attributable to a number of factors, including the that we are currently a small company which is still relatively unknown to securities analysts, stock brokers, institutional investors and others in the investment community that generate or influence sales volume, and that even if we came to the attention of such persons, they tend to be risk-averse and reluctant to follow an unproven company such as ours or purchase or recommend the purchase of our shares until such time as we become more seasoned and viable. As a consequence, there may be periods of several days or more when trading activity in our shares is minimal, as compared to a seasoned issuer which has a large and steady volume of trading activity that will generally support continuous sales without an adverse effect on share price. We cannot provide any assurance that a broader or more active public trading market for our common stock will develop or be sustained, or that trading levels will be sustained.
 
The market price of our common stock has declined over the past three years and may be volatile, which could reduce the market price of our common stock.
 
Currently the publicly traded shares of our common stock are not widely held, and do not have significant trading volume, and therefore may experience significant price and volume fluctuations. Although our common stock is quoted on the NASDAQ Global Market, this does not assure that a meaningful, consistent trading market will develop or that the volatility will decline. This market volatility could reduce the market price of the common stock, regardless of our operating performance. In addition, the trading price of the common stock has been volatile over the past few years and could change significantly over short periods of time in response to actual or anticipated variations in our quarterly operating results, announcements by us, our licensees or our respective competitors, factors affecting our licensees’ markets generally and/or changes in national or regional economic conditions, making it more difficult for shares of the common stock to be sold at a favorable price or at all. The market price of the common stock could also be reduced by general market price declines or market volatility in the future or future declines or volatility in the prices of stocks for companies in the trademark licensing business or companies in the industries in which our licensees compete.
 

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Our common stock may be subject to the penny stock rules adopted by the SEC that require brokers to provide extensive disclosure to their customers prior to executing trades in penny stocks. These disclosure requirements may cause a reduction in the trading activity of our common stock, which could make it more difficult for our stockholders to sell their securities.
 
Rule 3a51-1 of the Exchange Act establishes the definition of a “penny stock,” for purposes relevant to us, as any equity security that has a minimum bid price of less than $5.00 per share or with an exercise price of less than $5.00 per share, subject to a limited number of exceptions, including for having securities registered on certain national securities exchanges. If our common stock were delisted from the NASDAQ, market liquidity for our common stock could be severely and adversely affected.
 
For any transaction involving a penny stock, unless exempt, the penny stock rules require that a broker or dealer approve a person’s account for transactions in penny stocks and the broker or dealer receive from the investor a written agreement to the transaction setting forth the identity and quantity of the penny stock to be purchased. In order to approve a person’s account for transactions in penny stocks, the broker or dealer must obtain financial information and investment experience and objectives of the person and make a reasonable determination that the transactions in penny stocks are suitable for that person and that that person has sufficient knowledge and experience in financial matters to be capable of evaluating the risks of transactions in penny stocks.
 
The broker or dealer must also deliver, prior to any transaction in a penny stock, a disclosure schedule prepared by the SEC relating to the penny stock market, which, in highlight form, sets forth:

the basis on which the broker or dealer made the suitability determination; and
that the broker or dealer received a signed, written agreement from the investor prior to the transaction.
 
Disclosure also has to be made about the risks of investing in penny stocks in both public offerings and in secondary trading and commission payable to both the broker-dealer and the registered representative, current quotations for the securities and the rights and remedies available to an investor in cases of fraud in penny stock transactions. Finally, monthly statements have to be sent disclosing recent price information for the penny stock held in the account and information on the limited market in penny stocks.
 
Because of these regulations, broker-dealers may not wish to engage in the above-referenced necessary paperwork and disclosures and/or may encounter difficulties in their attempt to sell shares of our common stock, which may affect the ability of selling stockholders or other holders to sell their shares in any secondary market and have the effect of reducing the level of trading activity in any secondary market. These additional sales practice and disclosure requirements could impede the sale of our common stock even if and when our common stock becomes listed on the NASDAQ Global Market. In addition, the liquidity for our common stock may decrease, with a corresponding decrease in the price of our common stock.
 
Although our common stock closed at $1.68 per share on March 18, 2019, no assurance can be given that the per share price of our common stock will maintain such levels or that our stock will not be subject to these “penny stock” rules in the future.
 
Investors should be aware that, according to Commission Release No. 34-29093, the market for “penny stocks” has suffered in recent years from patterns of fraud and abuse. Such patterns include: (1) control of the market for the security by one or a few broker-dealers that are often related to the promoter or issuer; (2) manipulation of prices through prearranged matching of purchases and sales and false and misleading press releases; (3) boiler room practices involving high-pressure sales tactics and unrealistic price projections by inexperienced sales persons; (4) excessive and undisclosed bid-ask differential and markups by selling broker-dealers; and (5) the wholesale dumping of the same securities by promoters and broker-dealers after prices have been manipulated to a desired level, along with the resulting inevitable collapse of those prices and with consequent investor losses. The occurrence of these patterns or practices could increase the future volatility of our share price.
 
We may issue a substantial number of shares of common stock upon exercise of outstanding warrants and options, as payment of our obligations under the Ripka Seller Notes and to satisfy obligations to Burch Acquisition, LLC (the “C Wonder Earn-Out”) if certain conditions, including royalty revenue targets, are met.
 
As of December 31, 2018, we had outstanding warrants and options to purchase 4,472,690 shares of our common stock. The holders of warrants and options will likely exercise such securities at a time when the market price of our common stock exceeds the exercise price. Therefore, exercises of warrants and options will result in a decrease in the net tangible book value per share of our common stock and such decrease could be material. In addition, we may issue shares of common stock to satisfy two times the highest amount of annual excess royalties for the C Wonder brand earned through June 30, 2019 to the C Wonder brand’s sellers. As of December 31, 2018, the contingent obligation recorded on our Balance Sheet for the C Wonder Earn-Out payment was $2.9 million.
 

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We may satisfy our obligations under the $0.59 million remaining principal amount of Ripka Seller Notes payable to Ripka by issuing shares of common stock. The number of shares which we issue to satisfy our obligations under the Ripka Seller Notes will be based on the future market price of our common stock and are currently not determinable, provided that there is a floor to the share price to satisfy the Ripka Seller Notes of $7.00 per share. The maximum number of shares that could be issued in exchange for the remaining Ripka Seller Notes is 84,923 shares.
 
The issuance of shares to satisfy such obligations and upon exercise of outstanding warrants and options will dilute our then-existing stockholders’ percentage ownership of our company, and such dilution could be substantial. In addition, our growth strategy includes the acquisition of additional brands, and we may issue shares of our common stock as consideration for acquisitions. Sales or the potential for sale of a substantial number of such shares could adversely affect the market price of our common stock, particularly if our common stock remains thinly traded at such time.
 
As of December 31, 2018, we had an aggregate of 5,813,949 shares of common stock available for grants under our Amended and Restated 2011 Equity Incentive Plan (the "Plan") to our directors, executive officers, employees, and consultants. Issuances of common stock pursuant to the exercise of stock options or other stock grants or awards which may be granted under our Plan will dilute your interest in us.
 
We do not anticipate paying cash dividends on our common stock.
 
You should not rely on an investment in our common stock to provide dividend income, as we have not paid dividends on our common stock, and we do not plan to pay any dividends in the foreseeable future. Instead, we plan to retain any earnings to maintain and expand our existing licensing operations, further develop our trademarks, and finance the acquisition of additional trademarks. Accordingly, investors must rely on sales of their common stock after price appreciation, which may never occur, as the only way to realize any return on their investment. In addition, our credit facility with Bank Hapoalim B.M. limits the amount of cash dividends we may pay while amounts under the credit facility are outstanding.
 
Provisions of our corporate charter documents could delay or prevent change of control.
 
Our certificate of incorporation authorizes our board of directors to issue up to 1,000,000 shares of preferred stock without stockholder approval, in one or more series, and to fix the dividend rights, terms, conversion rights, voting rights, redemption rights and terms, liquidation preferences, and any other rights, preferences, privileges, and restrictions applicable to each new series of preferred stock. The designation of preferred stock in the future could make it difficult for third parties to gain control of our company, prevent or substantially delay a change in control, discourage bids for the common stock at a premium, or otherwise adversely affect the market price of the common stock. 
 
Holders of our common stock may be subject to restrictions on the use of Rule 144 by shell companies or former shell companies.
 
Historically, the SEC has taken the position that Rule 144 under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act, is not available for the resale of securities initially issued by companies that are, or previously were, shell companies (we were considered a shell company on and prior to September 29, 2011), to their promoters or affiliates despite technical compliance with the requirements of Rule 144. The SEC prohibits the use of Rule 144 for resale of securities issued by shell companies (other than business transaction related shell companies) or issuers that have been at any time previously a shell company. The SEC has provided an important exception to this prohibition, however, if the following conditions are met: the issuer of the securities that was formerly a shell company has ceased to be a shell company; the issuer of the securities is subject to the reporting requirements of Section 13 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act; the issuer of the securities has filed all Exchange Act reports and material required to be filed, as applicable, during the preceding 12 months (or such shorter period that the issuer was required to file such reports and materials), other than Form 8-K reports; and at least one year has elapsed from the time that the issuer filed current Form 10 type information with the SEC reflecting its status as an entity that is not a shell company. As such, due to the fact that we had been a shell company prior to September 2011, holders of “restricted securities” within the meaning of Rule 144, when reselling their shares pursuant to Rule 144, shall be subject to the conditions set forth herein.


Item 2.        Properties
We currently lease and maintain our corporate offices and operations located at 1333 Broadway, 10th floor, New York, New York. We entered into a lease agreement on July 8, 2015 for such offices of approximately 29,600 square feet of office space. This lease commenced on March 1, 2016 and shall expire on October 30, 2027.

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We also lease approximately 18,500 square feet of office space at 475 Tenth Avenue, 4th Floor, New York, New York. This location represents our former corporate offices and operations facility, which we relocated to our current location described above in June 2016. This lease shall expire on February 28, 2022. We had subleased this office space to a third-party subtenant through December 12, 2018. In March 2019 we subleased this office space to a new subtenant through February 2022.
Item 3.        Legal Proceedings
In the ordinary course of business, from time to time we become involved in legal claims and litigation. In the opinion of management, based on consultations with legal counsel, the disposition of litigation currently pending against us is unlikely to have, individually or in the aggregate, a materially adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations or cash flows.
Item 4.        Mine Safety Disclosure
None.

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PART II
Item 5.
Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Market Information
Our common stock is listed on the NASDAQ Global Market, under the trading symbol “XELB.”
The table below sets forth the range of quarterly high and low sales prices for our common stock in 2018 and 2017.
December 31, 2018
High
 
Low
First Quarter
$
3.45

 
$
2.40

Second Quarter
$
3.10

 
$
2.25

Third Quarter
$
2.95

 
$
2.05

Fourth Quarter
$
2.40

 
$
1.00

 
 
 
 
December 31, 2017
 

 
 

First Quarter
$
4.85

 
$
2.00

Second Quarter
$
3.10

 
$
2.10

Third Quarter
$
4.80

 
$
2.88

Fourth Quarter
$
3.70

 
$
2.24

Holders
As of December 31, 2018, the number of our stockholders of record was 569 (excluding beneficial owners and any shares held in street name or by nominees).
Dividends
We have never declared or paid any cash dividends on our common stock. In addition, our credit facility with Bank Hapoalim B.M. limits the amount of cash dividends we may pay while amounts under the credit facility are outstanding. Furthermore, we expect to retain future earnings to finance our operations and expansion. The payment of cash dividends in the future will be at the discretion of our board of directors and will depend upon our earnings levels, capital requirements, any restrictive loan covenants, and other factors the board of directors considers relevant.
Securities authorized for issuance under equity compensation plans
2011 Equity Incentive Plan
Our Amended and Restated 2011 Equity Incentive Plan, which we refer to as the Plan, is designed and utilized to enable the Company to offer its employees, officers, directors, consultants, and others whose past, present, and/or potential contributions to the Company have been, are, or will be important to the success of the Company, an opportunity to acquire a proprietary interest in the Company. The following is a description of the Plan, as amended.
The Plan provides for the grant of stock options or restricted stock (any grant under the Plan, an “Award”). The stock options may be incentive stock options or non-qualified stock options.
A total of 13,000,000 shares of common stock are eligible for issuance under the Plan, and the maximum number of shares of common stock with respect to which incentive stock options may be granted under the Plan is 5,000,000.
The Plan may be administered by the Board of Directors (the “Board”) or a committee consisting of two or more members of the Board of Directors appointed by the Board (for purposes of this description, any such committee, a “Committee”).
Officers and other employees of our Company or any parent or subsidiary of our Company who are at the time of the grant of an Award employed by us or any parent or subsidiary of our Company are eligible to be granted options or other Awards under the Plan. In addition, non-qualified stock options and other Awards may be granted under the Plan to any person, including, but not limited to, directors, independent agents, consultants and attorneys who the Board or the Committee, as the case may be, believes has contributed or will contribute to our success.
With respect to incentive stock options granted to an eligible employee owning stock possessing more than 10% of the total combined voting power of all classes of our stock or the stock of a parent or subsidiary of our Company immediately before

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the grant (each, a “10% Stockholder”), such incentive stock option shall not be exercisable more than 5 years from the date of grant.
The exercise price of an incentive stock option will not be less than the fair market value of the shares underlying the option on the date the option is granted, provided, however, that the exercise price of an incentive stock option granted to a 10% Stockholder may not be less than 110% of such fair market value.
The exercise price of a non-qualified stock option may not be less than fair market value of the shares of common stock underlying the option on the date the option is granted.
Under the Plan, we may not, in the aggregate, grant incentive stock options that are first exercisable by any individual optionee during any calendar year (under all such plans of the optionee’s employer corporation and its “parent” and “subsidiary” corporations, as those terms are defined in Section 424 of the Internal Revenue Code) to the extent that the aggregate fair market value of the underlying stock (determined at the time the option is granted) exceeds $100,000.
Restricted stock awards give the recipient the right to receive a specified number of shares of common stock, subject to such terms, conditions and restrictions as the Board or the Committee, as the case may be, deems appropriate.  Restrictions may include limitations on the right to transfer the stock until the expiration of a specified period of time and forfeiture of the stock upon the occurrence of certain events such as the termination of employment prior to expiration of a specified period of time.
Certain Awards made under the Plan may be granted so that they qualify as “performance-based compensation” (as this term is used in Internal Revenue Code Section 162(m) and the regulations thereunder) and are exempt from the deduction limitation imposed by Code Section 162(m) (these Awards are referred to as “Performance-Based Awards”).  Under Internal Revenue Code Section 162(m), our tax deduction may be limited to the extent total compensation paid to the chief executive officer, or any of the four most highly compensated executive officers (other than the chief executive officer) exceeds $1 million in any one tax year.  In accordance with the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the tax deductibility for each of these executives will be limited to $1,000,000 of compensation annually, including any performance based compensation. Among other criteria, Awards only qualify as performance-based awards if at the time of grant the compensation committee is comprised solely of two or more “outside directors” (as this term is used in Internal Revenue Code Section 162(m) and the regulations thereunder).  In addition, we must obtain stockholder approval of material terms of performance goals for such “performance-based compensation.”
All stock options and certain stock awards, performance awards, and stock units granted under the Plan, and the compensation attributable to such Awards, are intended to (i) qualify as performance-based awards or (ii) be otherwise exempt from the deduction limitation imposed by Internal Revenue Code Section 162(m).
No options or other Awards may be granted on or after the tenth anniversary of the effective date of the Plan.
From time to time, the Company issues stock-based compensation to its officers, directors, employees, and consultants. The maximum term of options granted is generally 10 years and generally options vest over a period of six months to four years. However, the Board of Directors of the Company may approve other vesting schedules. Options may be exercised in whole or in part. The exercise price of stock options granted is generally the fair market value of the Company's common stock as determined by the Board of Directors on the date of grant, considering factors such as the sale of stock, results of operations, and consideration of the fair value of comparable private companies in the industry.
The fair value of each stock option award is estimated using the Black-Scholes option pricing model based on certain assumptions. The assumption for expected term is based on evaluations of expected future employee exercise behavior. Because of a lack of historical information, we use the simplified method to determine the expected term. The risk-free interest rate is based on the U.S. Treasury rates at the date of grant with maturity dates approximately equal to the expected term at the grant date. The historical volatility of comparable companies' stock is used as the basis for the volatility assumption. The Company has never paid cash dividends, and does not currently intend to pay cash dividends, and thus assumes a 0% dividend yield.
The following table sets forth information as of December 31, 2018 regarding compensation plans under which our equity securities are authorized for issuance.
 
 
Number of Securities
to be Issued Upon
Exercise of
Outstanding Options,
Warrants and Rights
 
Weighted Average
Exercise Price of
Outstanding Options,
Warrants and Rights
 
Number of Securities
Remaining Available for
Future Issuance Under
Equity Compensation Plans
(Excluding Securities
Reflected in Column (a))
Plan Category
 
(a)
 
(b)
 
(c)
Equity compensation Plans (1)
 
4,472,690

 
$
6.49

 
5,813,949

(1) Pursuant to our 2011 Equity Incentive Plan.
Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities

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There were no sales of unregistered or registered securities during the year ended December 2018.
Purchases of equity securities by the issuer and affiliated purchasers
The following table provides information with respect to common stock repurchased by us during the years ended December 2018 and 2017.
Period
 
Total Number of
Shares of
Common Stock
Purchased
 
Average
Price per
Share
 
Total Number of Shares
of Common Stock
Purchased as
Part of a Publicly
Announced
Plan or Program
March 1, 2018 to Mar 31, 2018 (i)
 
43,638

 
$
3.25

 

April 1, 2018 to April 30, 2018 (i)
 
181,486

 
3.09

 
 
May 1, 2018 to May 31, 2018 (i)
 
107

 
2.8

 

November 1, 2018 to November 30, 2018 (i)
 
145,920

 
2.27

 
 
Total year ended December 31, 2018
 
371,151

 
$
2.79

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
March 1, 2017 to March 31, 2017 (i)
 
294,540

 
$
2.70

 

May 1, 2017 to May 31, 2017 (i)
 
4,775

 
2.30

 

September 1, 2017 to September 30, 2017 (i)
 
2,200

 
3.70

 

November 1, 2017 to November 30, 2017 (i)
 
149,840

 
2.55

 

Total year ended December 31, 2017
 
451,355

 
$
2.66

 

(i)
The shares were exchanged from employees and directors in connection with the income tax withholding obligations on behalf of such employees and directors from the vesting of restricted stock.
Item 6.
Selected Financial Data
Smaller reporting companies are not required to provide the information required by this Item 6.
Item 7.
Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
The following discussion and analysis should be read together with our consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto, included in Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. This discussion summarizes the significant factors affecting our consolidated operating results, financial condition and liquidity and cash flows for the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017. Except for historical information, the matters discussed in this Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties and are based upon judgments concerning factors that are beyond our control.
Overview
We are a media and consumer products company engaged in the design, production, marketing, and direct-to-consumer sales of branded apparel, footwear, accessories, jewelry, home goods and other consumer products, and the acquisition of dynamic consumer lifestyle brands. We have developed a Fast-to-Market supply chain capability driven by its proprietary integrated technology platform. Currently, our brand portfolio consists of the Isaac Mizrahi Brand, the Judith Ripka Brand, the Halston Heritage Brands, the H Halston Brands, the C Wonder Brand, and the Highline Collective brand. Our objective is to build a diversified portfolio of lifestyle consumer brands through organic growth and the strategic acquisition of new brands. To grow our brands, we are focused on the following primary strategies:
licensing our brands for distribution through interactive television (i.e. QVC, The Shopping Channel) whereby we design, manage production, merchandise the shows, and manage the on-air talent;
licensing our brands to manufacturers and retailers for promotion and distribution through e-commerce, social commerce, and traditional brick-and-mortar retail channels whereby we provide certain design services and, in certain cases, manage supply and merchandising;
distribution of our brands to retailers that sell to the end consumer (wholesale)

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distribution of our brands through our e-commerce site directly to the end consumer;
entering into strategic supply agreements directly with overseas factories for distribution to our retail partners and through our own direct-to-consumer e-commerce sites; and
quickly integrate additional brands into our platform and leverage our design, production and marketing capabilities, and distribution relationships.
We believe that we offer a unique value proposition to our retail and direct-to-consumer customers, and our licensees for the following reasons:
our management team, including our officers’ and directors’ experience in, and relationships within the industry;
our Fast-to-Market supply chain and integrated technology platform enables us to design and distribute trend-right product; and
our operating strategy, significant media and internet presence and distribution network.
In December 2017, we launched our Judith Ripka Fine Jewelry e-commerce and its wholesale operations in January 2018 and in November 2018, we launched our apparel wholesale business. In support of these new operations, we hired a new Chief Merchandising Officer and built out the infrastructure to support these operations.
Our vision is intended to reimagine shopping, entertainment, and social as one. By leveraging digital and social media content across all distribution channels, we seek to drive consumer engagement and generate retail sales across our brands. Our strong relationships with leading retailers and interactive television companies and cable networks enable us to reach consumers in over 400 million homes worldwide and hundreds of millions of social media followers.
We believe our Fast-to-Market production platform provides significant competitive advantages compared with traditional wholesale apparel companies that design, manufacture, and distribute products. We focus on our core competencies of design, integrated technologies, Fast-to-Market production, marketing, and brand development. We believe that we offer a 360 degree solution to our retail partners that addresses many of the challenges facing the retail industry today. We believe our platform is highly scalable. Additionally, we believe we can quickly integrate additional brands into our platform in order to leverage our design, production, marketing capabilities, and distribution network.
Summary of Critical Accounting Policies
The preparation of consolidated financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. Critical accounting policies are those that are the most important to the portrayal of our financial condition and results of operations, and that require our most difficult, subjective, and complex judgments as a result of the need to make estimates about the effect of matters that are inherently uncertain. While our significant accounting policies are described in more detail in the notes to our financial statements, our most critical accounting policies, discussed below, pertain to revenue recognition, trademarks, goodwill and other intangible assets, stock-based compensation, fair value of contingent obligations and income taxes. In applying such policies, we must use some amounts that are based upon our informed judgments and best estimates. Estimates, by their nature, are based upon judgments and available information. The estimates that we make are based upon historical factors, current circumstances, and the experience and judgment of management. We evaluate our assumptions and estimates on an ongoing basis.
Revenue Recognition
Licensing
In connection with our licensing model, and in accordance with ASC 606-10-55-65, we recognize revenue at the later of when (1) the subsequent sale or usage occurs or (2) the performance obligation to which some or all of the sales- or usage-based royalty has been allocated is satisfied (in whole or in part). More specifically, we separately identify:

(i) Contracts for which, based on experience, royalties are expected to exceed any applicable minimum guaranteed payments, and to which an output-based measure of progress based on the “right to invoice” practical expedient is applied because the royalties due for each period correlate directly with the value to the customer of our performance in each period (this approach is identified as “View A” by the FASB Revenue Recognition Transition Resource Group, “TRG”); and

(ii) Contracts for which revenue is recognized based on minimum guaranteed payments using an appropriate measure of progress, in which minimum guaranteed payments are straight-lined over the term of the contract and recognized ratably based on the passage of time, and to which the royalty recognition constraint to the sales-based royalties in excess of minimum guaranteed is

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applied and such sales-based royalties are recognized to distinct period only when the minimum guaranteed is exceeded on a cumulative basis (this approach is identified as “View C” by the TRG).

Design Fees

The Company earns design fees for serving as a buying agent for apparel under private labels for large retailers. As a buying agent, the Company utilizes its expertise and relationships with manufacturers to facilitate the production of private label apparel to customer specifications. The Company’s design fee revenue also includes fees charged for its design and product development services provided to certain suppliers. The Company satisfies its performance obligation to its customers by performing the services in buyer agency agreements and thereby earning its design fee at the point in time when the customer’s
freight forwarder takes control of the goods. The Company satisfies its performance obligation with the suppliers and earns its design fee from the factory at the point in time when the customer’s freight forwarder takes control of the goods.

Sales

Wholesale

The Company generates revenue through the design, sourcing and sale of branded jewelry and apparel to both domestic and international customers who, in turn, sell the products to their consumer. The Company recognizes revenue when performance obligations identified under the terms of contracts with its customers are satisfied, which occurs upon the transfer of control of the merchandise in accordance with the contractual terms and conditions of the sale.

Direct to Consumer

The Company's revenue associated with its e-commerce jewelry is recognized at a point in time when product is shipped to the customer.
Trademarks, Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets
We follow Financial Accounting Standards Board, or FASB, Accounting Standard Codification, or ASC Topic 350, “Intangibles - Goodwill and Other.” Under this standard, goodwill and indefinite lived intangible assets are not amortized, but are required to be assessed for impairment at least annually. Under this standard, we annually have the option to first assess qualitatively whether it is more likely than not that there is an impairment, or perform a quantitative analysis. Our finite lived intangible assets are amortized over their estimated useful lives.
Goodwill Impairment Review
We performed our annual quantitative analysis of intangible assets as of December 31, 2018 and annual quantitative analysis of goodwill and intangible assets at December 31, 2017. There were no impairments identified in 2018. As a result of the December 31, 2017 impairment testing, we recorded a non-cash impairment charge in the fourth quarter of 2017 for the total amount of goodwill previously recorded on our balance sheet of approximately $12.4 million. The underlying cause of the impairment was the declining public trading price of the Company’s common stock and the ensuing decrease in the Company’s market capitalization as of December 31, 2017, as compared to the calculated fair value of the Company (see below for further discussion of the determination of fair value). The Company’s trading price for its common stock had been declining in 2017 due to our thinly traded stock, failure of the market to distinguish us from our competitors with poor balance sheets, and general outlook on the consumer retail environment. Due to the prolonged decline in the Company’s stock price, it was determined during the fourth quarter that such a decline was no longer temporary.
With reference to our goodwill impairment quantitative testing at December 31, 2017, we determined fair value using a weighted approach, including both an income approach and a market approach. The income approach included a discounted cash flow model relying on significant assumptions consisting of revenue growth rates and operating margins based on internal forecasts, terminal value, and the weighted average cost of capital ("WACC") used to discount future cash flows (in our 2017 analysis, we used a discount rate of 13%). Internal forecasts of revenue growth, operating margins, and working capital needs over the next five years were developed with consideration of macroeconomic factors, historical performance, and planned activities. In 2017, we made a terminal value assumption that cash flows would grow 4.0% each year subsequent to year five, based on management expectations for the long-term growth prospects of the Company. The residual value was determined under both an EBITDA exit multiple and a Gordon Growth model. To determine the WACC, we used a standard valuation method, the Capital Asset Pricing Model (“CAPM”), based on readily available and current market data of peer companies considered market participants. An additional risk premium of 2% was added to the WACC. As some of the other comparable companies have significant levels of debt, Xcel’s

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public data was selected for the capital structure and beta. For the market approach, we considered both the Guideline Companies method and the Comparable Transactions method. During 2017, management was continuously monitoring the Company’s stock price and its market capitalization and expectations were that the sector would eventually improve and the Company’s stock would trade again at a higher value, able to support the implied premium included in the fair value obtained through the above-mentioned weighted approach, and more representative of the Company’s expected long-term target stock price. Our stock trading price gradually improved during 2017, however, beginning early November, the stock trading price began to trend back down. We believed this to be a temporary trend, and that our stock price would soon improve. This position was supported by management consideration of some of our competitors’ highly leveraged business and that investors would eventually realize that our fair value was penalized by the resulting sector performance on the stock market. Although our stock price did improve toward the end of 2017, due to the volatility and with continuing low stock trading prices, management decided to increase the relative weight of the market approach in its fair value model, and consequently increase the emphasis on its market peers, which ultimately resulted in the recording of the goodwill impairment. The inputs and assumptions utilized in the goodwill impairment analysis are classified as Level 3 inputs in the fair value hierarchy.
Indefinite Lived Intangibles
The Company tests its indefinite-lived intangible assets for recovery in accordance with ASC-820-10-55-3F, which states that the income approach (“Income Approach”) converts future amounts (for example cash flows) in a single current (that is, discounted) amount. When the Income Approach is used, fair value measurement reflects current market expectations about those future amounts. The Income Approach is based on the present value of future earnings expected to be generated by a business or asset. Income projections for a future period are discounted at a rate commensurate with the degree of risk associated with future proceeds. A residual or terminal value is also added to the present value of the income to quantify the value of the business beyond the projection period. As such, recoverability of assets to be held and used is measured by a comparison of the carrying amount of the asset to its expected future discounted net cash flows. If the carrying amount of such assets is considered to be impaired, the impairment to be recognized is measured as the amount by which the carrying amount of the assets exceeds the recoverability of the assets.
Finite Lived Intangibles
With reference to our finite-lived intangible assets impairment process, the Company groups assets and liabilities at the lowest level for which identifiable cash flows are largely independent of the cash flows of other assets and liabilities and evaluate the asset group against the sum of undiscounted future cash flows. If the undiscounted cash flows do not indicate the carrying amount of the asset is recoverable, an impairment charge is measured as the amount by which the carrying amount of the asset group exceeds its fair value based on discounted cash flows analysis or appraisals. The inputs utilized in the finite-lived intangible assets impairment analysis are classified as Level 3 inputs within the fair value hierarchy as defined in ASC 820.
Stock-Based Compensation
We account for stock-based compensation in accordance with ASC Topic 718, “Compensation - Stock Compensation,” by recognizing the fair value of stock-based compensation as an operating expense over the service period of the award or term of the corresponding contract, as applicable. Stock option awards are valued using a Black-Scholes option pricing model, which requires the input of subjective assumptions including expected stock price volatility and the estimated life of each award. Restricted stock awards are valued using the fair value of our common stock at the date the common stock is granted. For stock option awards for which vesting is contingent upon the achievement of certain performance targets, the timing and amount of compensation expense recognized is based upon the Company’s projections and estimates of the relevant performance metric(s).
Fair Value of Contingent Obligations
Management continues to analyze and quantify contingent obligations (expected earn-out payments) over the applicable pay-out period. Management will assess no less frequently than each reporting period the fair value of contingent obligations. Any change in the expected obligation will result in an expense or income recognized in the period in which it is determined the fair market value of the obligation has changed.
We recognized a contingent obligation in connection with the acquisition of Judith Ripka Trademarks in 2014. ASC 805-50-30 requires that, when accounting for asset acquisitions, when the fair value of the assets acquired is greater than the consideration paid, any contingent obligations shall be recognized and recorded as the positive difference between the fair value of the assets acquired and the consideration paid for the acquired assets.

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We also recognized a contingent obligation in 2015 in connection with our acquisition of the C Wonder Trademarks. ASC 805-50-30 requires that when the fair value of the assets acquired is equal to the consideration paid, any contingent obligations shall be recognized based upon the Company’s best estimate of the amount that will be paid to settle the liability.
Income Taxes
Income tax expense is the tax payable for the period and the change during the period in deferred tax assets and liabilities. Deferred income taxes are determined based on the temporary difference between the financial reporting and tax bases of assets and liabilities using enacted rates in effect during the year in which the differences are expected to reverse. Valuation allowances are established when necessary to reduce deferred tax assets to the amount expected to be realized. ASC Topic 740, “Accounting for Income Taxes” clarifies the accounting for uncertainty in income taxes recognized in an enterprise's financial statements. Tax positions shall initially be recognized in the financial statements when it is more likely than not that the position will be sustained upon examination by the tax authorities. Such tax positions shall initially and subsequently be measured as the largest amount of tax benefit that has a probability of fifty percent or greater of being realized upon ultimate settlement with the tax authority, assuming full knowledge of the position and all relevant facts.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“the Act”) was enacted on December 22, 2017. The income tax effects of changes in tax laws are recognized in the period when enacted. The Act provides for numerous significant tax law changes and modifications with varying effective dates, which include reducing the U.S. federal corporate income tax rate from a maximum of 35% to 21%, creating a territorial tax system (with a one-time mandatory repatriation tax on previously deferred foreign earnings), broadening the tax base, and allowing for immediate capital expensing of certain qualified property acquired and placed in service after September 27, 2017 and before January 1, 2023.
In response to the enactment of the Act in late 2017, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 118 (“SAB 118”) to address situations where the accounting is incomplete for certain income tax effects of the Act upon issuance of an entity’s financial statements for the reporting period in which the Act was enacted. Under SAB 118, the company recorded provisional amounts during the measurement period for specific income tax effects of the Act for which the accounting was incomplete and a reasonable estimate was determined.  The measurement period covers one year from the date of enactment of the Act.  As of December 31, 2018 the Company finalized its accounting for the income tax effects of the Act and had no change to its original estimates.
Recently Issued Accounting Pronouncements

In August 2018, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) issued Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) No. 2018-13, “Fair Value Measurement (Topic 820): Disclosure Framework – Changes to the Disclosure Requirements for Fair Value Measurement.” This ASU adds, modifies and removes several disclosure requirements relative to the three levels of inputs used to measure fair value in accordance with Topic 820, “Fair Value Measurement.” This guidance is effective for public companies for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019, with early adoption permitted. The Company is currently evaluating the new guidance to determine the impact the adoption of this guidance will have on the Company’s results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.
 
In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-02, “Leases” (“ASU 2016-02”). The core principle of ASU 2016-02 is that an entity should recognize on its balance sheet assets and liabilities arising from a lease. In accordance with that principle, ASU 2016-02 requires that a lessee recognize a liability to make lease payments (the lease liability) and a right-of-use asset representing its right to use the underlying leased asset for the lease term. The recognition, measurement, and presentation of expenses and cash flows arising from a lease by a lessee will depend on the lease classification as a finance or operating lease. In addition, in July 2018, the FASB issued ASU 2018-11, “Leases (Topic 842): Targeted Improvements”, which addresses implementation issues related to the new lease standard. This guidance is effective for the Company as of January 1, 2019 and the Company will adopt this guidance using the modified retrospective approach and will recognize a cumulative-effect adjustment to the opening balance of Retained earnings in that period. This guidance includes a number of optional practical expedients that the Company may elect to apply, including an expedient that permits lease agreements that are twelve months or less to be excluded from the balance sheet. The Company is finalizing the impact that this new guidance will have on its consolidated financial statements, including its disclosures. The primary impact upon adoption will be the recognition, on a discounted basis, of the Company’s minimum commitments under noncancelable operating leases as right of use assets and obligations on the consolidated balance sheets, in a range between $12.0 million to $14.0 million.

In June 2018, the FASB issued ASU No. 2018-07, “Compensation - Stock Compensation (Topic 718) - Improvements to Nonemployee Share-Based Payment Accounting” (“ASU 2018-07”), which largely aligns the accounting for share-based payment awards issued to employees and nonemployees. Under previous GAAP, the accounting for nonemployee share-based payments

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differed from that applied to employee awards, particularly with regard to the measurement date and the impact of performance conditions. Under the new guidance, the existing employee guidance will apply to nonemployee share-based transactions (as long as the transaction is not effectively a form of financing), with the exception of specific guidance related to the attribution of compensation cost. The cost of nonemployee awards will continue to be recorded as if the grantor had paid cash for the goods or services. In addition, the contractual term will be able to be used in lieu of an expected term in the option-pricing model for nonemployee awards. Changes to the accounting for nonemployee awards include:
Equity-classified share-based payment awards issued to nonemployees will now be measured on the grant date, instead of the previous requirement to remeasure the awards through the performance completion date;
For performance conditions, compensation cost associated with the award will be recognized when achievement of the performance condition is probable, rather than upon achievement of the performance condition; and
The current requirement to reassess the classification (equity or liability) for nonemployee awards upon vesting will be eliminated, except for awards in the form of convertible instruments.
  
The new guidance also clarifies that any share-based payment awards issued to customers should be evaluated under Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) 606, “Revenue from Contracts with Customers” (“ASC 606”).
 
This new accounting guidance is effective for public companies for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018 (i.e., calendar years beginning on January 1, 2019), including interim periods within those fiscal years. The guidance should be applied to all new awards granted after the date of adoption. In addition, all liability-classified awards that have not been settled and equity-classified awards for which a measurement date has not been established by the adoption date should be remeasured at fair value as of the adoption date with a cumulative effect adjustment to opening retained earnings in the fiscal year of adoption. Early adoption is permitted. The adoption of ASU 2018-07 did not have a material impact on the Company’s consolidated financial statements.

Recently Adopted Accounting Pronouncements

The Company adopted ASC 606 under the modified retrospective adoption method effective January 1, 2018, by applying the new guidance only to contracts that were not completed at the date of initial application. The Company’s evaluation of the impact of the adoption of the new revenue standard on its consolidated financial statements included the identification of revenue within the scope of the guidance and the evaluation of applicable revenue contracts. The Company performed an extensive analysis of its existing contracts with customers and its revenue recognition policies and determined that the adoption did not result in material differences from the Company’s prior revenue recognition policies. In addition, the adoption of ASC 606 did not result in material differences in the amount of revenue recognized in the current year when compared to the amount of revenue that would have been recognized in the current year under the old guidance. The Company recognizes revenue continuously over time as it satisfies its continuous obligation of granting access to its licensed intellectual properties, which are deemed symbolic intellectual properties under the new revenue guidance. Payments are typically due after sales have occurred and have been reported by the licensees or, where applicable, in accordance with minimum guaranteed payments provisions. The timing of performance obligations is typically consistent with the timing of payments, though there may be differences if contracts provide for advances or significant escalations of contractually guaranteed minimum payments. There were no such differences that would have a material impact on our consolidated balance sheet at December 31, 2018 or December 31, 2017. In accordance with ASC 606-10-55-65, the Company recognizes revenue at the later of when (1) the subsequent sale or usage occurs or (2) the performance obligation to which some or all of the sales- or usage-based royalty has been allocated is satisfied (in whole or in part). More specifically, the Company separately identifies:

(i) Contracts for which, based on experience, royalties are expected to exceed any applicable minimum guaranteed payments, and to which an output-based measure of progress based on the “right to invoice” practical expedient is applied because the royalties due for each period correlate directly with the value to the customer of the Company’s performance in each period (this approach is identified as “View A” by the FASB Revenue Recognition Transition Resource Group, “TRG”); and

(ii) Contracts for which revenue is recognized based on minimum guaranteed payments using an appropriate measure of progress, in which minimum guaranteed payments are straight-lined over the term of the contract and recognized ratably based on the passage of time, and to which the royalty recognition constraint to the sales-based royalties in excess of minimum guaranteed is applied and such sales-based royalties are recognized to distinct period only when the minimum guaranteed is exceeded on a cumulative basis (this approach is identified as “View C” by the TRG).
 
The Company does not typically perform by transferring goods or services to customers before the customer pays consideration or before payment is due, thus the implementation of ASC 606 did not result in material contract assets in accordance with ASC 606-10-45-3. The Company’s unconditional right to receive consideration based on the terms and conditions of licensing contracts is presented as accounts receivable on the accompanying Consolidated Balance Sheet. The Company typically does not receive

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consideration in advance of performance and, consequently, amounts of contract liabilities as defined by ASC 606-10-45-2 were not material as of December 31, 2018 and December 31, 2017.
 
The Company does not disclose the amount attributable to unsatisfied or partially satisfied performance obligations for variable revenue contracts (identified under “View A” above) in accordance with the optional exemption allowed under ASC 606. The Company did not have any revenue recognized in the reporting period from performance obligations satisfied, or partially satisfied, in previous periods. Remaining minimum guaranteed payments for active contracts as of December 31, 2018 are expected to be recognized ratably in accordance with View C over the remaining term of each contract based on the passage of time and through December 2023.

The Company generates revenue through the design, sourcing and sale of branded jewelry and apparel to both domestic and international customers who, in turn, sell the products to the consumer. The Company recognizes revenue when performance obligations identified under the terms of contracts with its customers are satisfied, which occurs upon the transfer of control of the merchandise in accordance with the contractual terms and conditions of the sale.

The Company's revenue associated with its e-commerce jewelry is recognized at a point in time when product is shipped to the customer.

In January 2017, the FASB issued guidance clarifying the definition of a business with the objective of adding guidance to assist entities with evaluating whether transactions should be accounted for as acquisitions or disposals of assets or businesses. The guidance provides a screen to determine when an integrated set of assets and activities is not a business, provides a framework to assist entities in evaluating whether both an input and substantive process are present, and narrows the definition of the term output. The guidance is effective for public business entities for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2017, including interim periods within those fiscal years, and early adoption is permitted. The guidance must be adopted on a prospective basis. We will consider the guidance for future transactions.

In January 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-01, which revises the guidance in ASC 825-10, Recognition and Measurement of Financial Assets and Financial Liabilities, and provides guidance for the recognition, measurement, presentation, and disclosure of financial assets and liabilities. The guidance is effective for reporting periods (interim and annual) beginning after December 15, 2017, for public companies. The adoption of this guidance did not have a significant impact on our consolidated financial statements.

Summary of Operating Results
The consolidated financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this Form 10-K are as of, or for the year ended December 31, 2018 (the “Current Year”), and the year ended December 31, 2017 (the “Prior Year”).
Total Revenue
Current Year total revenue increased approximately $3.8 million to $35.5 million from $31.7 million for the Prior Year.
This net increase was primarily due to (i) an increase of sales of $4.3 million related to Ripka jewelry e-commerce and wholesale operations and our November 2018 launch of our apparel wholesale operations, (ii) an increase in revenue of $1.0 million from licensing fees from our Issac Mizrahi Brand, (iii) a $0.4 million increase in licensing revenues from our other brands, partially offset by (i) a decrease of approximately $0.9 million associated with the termination and transition of the C Wonder Brand from QVC, and (ii) a decrease of $1.0 million related to design fees, attributable to the transition of the department store business from a license to a wholesale model.
Cost of Goods Sold
Current Year cost of goods sold (sales) was $2.7 million related to the sales of our Ripka jewelry e-commerce and wholesale operations and sales from our apparel wholesale operations.
Operating Costs and Expenses
Current Year operating costs and expenses were $28.8 million, compared with $40.9 million for the Prior Year. This decrease of approximately $12.1 million was primarily related to the recording of a non-cash impairment charge for the total amount of goodwill on our balance sheet of approximately $12.4 million in the Prior Year, which was driven by the current public trading

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price of our common stock on the market and the ensuing decrease in our market capitalization. Our other operating expenses exclusive of goodwill increased from the Prior Year by $0.3 million, attributable to (i) an increase in other design and marketing costs of approximately $0.3 million, (ii) an increase in other selling, general and administrative expenses of approximately $0.5 million, (iii) an increase in depreciation and amortization of $0.2 million, (iv) a facilities charge of $0.8 million related to an adjustment to our lease liability in connection with a new subtenant in our former leased office facilities, partially offset by a decrease in total compensation, including stock-based compensation, of $1.6 million.
Interest and Finance Expense
Interest and finance expense for the Current Year decreased by approximately $0.3 million to $1.0 million, compared with $1.3 million in the Prior Year. This decrease was attributable primarily to: (i) lower interest expense of $0.26 million on our term debt due to a lower principal balance and (ii) lower interest recognized on the IM Seller Note of $0.08 million
Income Tax (Benefit) Provision

Income tax expense is the tax payable for the period and the change during the period in deferred tax assets and liabilities. Deferred income taxes are determined based on the temporary difference between the financial reporting and tax bases of assets and liabilities using enacted rates in effect during the year in which the differences are expected to reverse. Valuation allowances are established when necessary to reduce deferred tax assets to the amount expected to be realized. ASC Topic 740, “Accounting for Income Taxes” clarifies the accounting for uncertainty in income taxes recognized in an enterprise's financial statements. Tax positions shall initially be recognized in the financial statements when it is more likely than not that the position will be sustained upon examination by the tax authorities. Such tax positions shall initially and subsequently be measured as the largest amount of tax benefit that has a probability of 50% or greater of being realized upon ultimate settlement with the tax authority, assuming full knowledge of the position and all relevant facts.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the "Act”) was enacted on December 22, 2017. The income tax effects of changes in tax laws are recognized in the period when enacted. The Act provides for numerous significant tax law changes and modifications with varying effective dates, which include reducing the U.S. federal corporate income tax rate from a maximum of 35% to 21%, creating a territorial tax system (with a one-time mandatory repatriation tax on previously deferred foreign earnings), broadening the tax base, and allowing for immediate capital expensing of certain qualified property acquired and placed in service after September 27, 2017 and before January 1, 2023.

In response to the enactment of the Act in late 2017, the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 118 (“SAB 118”), that permits filers to record provisional amounts during a measurement period ending no later than one year from the date of the Act’s enactment. As of December 31, 2018, the Company finalized its accounting for the income tax effects of the Act and had no change to its original estimates.

The effective income tax rate for the Current Year was approximately 62.7% resulting in a $1.8 million income tax expense. During the Current Year, the effective tax rate was primarily attributable to recurring disallowed excess compensation which increased the effective rate in 2018 by 8.38%. The effective tax rate was also impacted by the vesting of restricted shares of common stock. The excess tax deficiencies were treated as a discrete item for tax as required by ASU 2016-09, “Improvements to Employee Share-Based Payment Accounting”, and this item increased the effective rate by approximately 18.25% . Based on the amount of income before income taxes compared to the permanent differences, the effective rate increased by 23.36%.
The effective income tax rate for the Prior Year was approximately 4% resulting in a $0.4 million income tax benefit. During the Current Year, the effective tax rate was primarily attributable to the effect of goodwill impairment, which decreased the effective tax rate by approximately 40%. The effective tax rate was also impacted by the vesting of restricted shares of common stock. The excess tax deficiencies were treated as a discrete item for tax as required by ASU 2016-09, “Improvements to Employee Share-Based Payment Accounting”, and this item decreased the effective rate by approximately 9%. These decreases in the effective tax rate were partially offset by: (i) the amount of income before income taxes compared to the recurring permanent differences, which increased the effective tax rate in 2017 by approximately 28%, and (ii) the re-measurement of the deferred tax balances resulting from the change in our corporate tax rate from 34% to 21% that was enacted by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed into law on December 22, 2017, which increased the effective tax rate by approximately 25%.
Net Income (Loss)
We had net income of $1.1 million for the Current Year, compared with a net loss of $(10.1) million for the Prior Year, attributable to the factors stated above.
Non-GAAP Net Income, Non-GAAP Diluted EPS and Adjusted EBITDA

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We had non-GAAP net income of $5.5 million or $0.30 per share (“non-GAAP diluted EPS”) based on 18,281,638 weighted average shares outstanding for the Current Year, compared with non-GAAP net income of $4.9 million, or $0.26 per share based on 18,867,172 weighted average shares outstanding for the Prior Year. Non-GAAP net income is a non-GAAP unaudited term, which we define as income (loss), exclusive of stock-based compensation, non-cash interest and finance expense from discounted debt related to acquired assets, goodwill impairment, non-recurring facility exit charges and, deferred tax provision. Non-GAAP net income and non-GAAP diluted EPS measures do not include the tax effect of the aforementioned adjusting items, due to the nature of these items and the Company’ s tax strategy.
We had Adjusted EBITDA of $8.4 million for the Current Year, compared with Adjusted EBITDA of approximately $8.0 million for the Prior Year. Adjusted EBITDA is a non-GAAP unaudited measure, which we define as income before stock-based compensation, interest and financing expense, income taxes, other state and local franchise taxes, depreciation and amortization, non-recurring facility exit charges, and goodwill impairment.
Management uses non-GAAP net income, non-GAAP diluted EPS, and Adjusted EBITDA as measures of operating performance to assist in comparing performance from period to period on a consistent basis and to identify business trends relating to the Company's results of operations. Management believes non-GAAP net income, non-GAAP diluted EPS, and Adjusted EBITDA are also useful because these measures adjust for certain costs and other events that management believes are not representative of our core business operating results, and thus these non-GAAP measures provide supplemental information to assist investors in evaluating the Company’s financial results.
Non-GAAP net income, non-GAAP diluted EPS, and Adjusted EBITDA should not be considered in isolation or as alternatives to net income, earnings per share, or any other measure of financial performance calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP. Given that non-GAAP net income, non-GAAP diluted EPS, and Adjusted EBITDA are financial measures not deemed to be in accordance with GAAP and are susceptible to varying calculations, our non-GAAP net income, non-GAAP diluted EPS, and Adjusted EBITDA may not be comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies, including companies in our industry, because other companies may calculate non-GAAP net income, non-GAAP diluted EPS, and Adjusted EBITDA in a different manner than we calculate these measures.
In evaluating non-GAAP net income, non-GAAP diluted EPS, and Adjusted EBITDA, you should be aware that in the future we may or may not incur expenses similar to some of the adjustments in this report. Our presentation of non-GAAP net income, non-GAAP diluted EPS, and Adjusted EBITDA does not imply that our future results will be unaffected by these expenses or any unusual or non-recurring items. When evaluating our performance, you should consider non-GAAP net income, non-GAAP diluted EPS, and Adjusted EBITDA alongside other financial performance measures, including our net income and other GAAP results, and not rely on any single financial measure.
The following table is a reconciliation of net income (loss) (our most directly comparable financial measure presented in accordance with GAAP) to non-GAAP net income:
 
Year Ended December 31,
($ in thousands)
2018
 
2017
Net income (loss)
$
1,088

 
$
(10,122
)
Goodwill impairment

 
12,371

Non-cash interest and finance expense
41

 
38

Stock-based compensation
1,788

 
3,184

Non-recurring facility exit charges
799

 

Deferred income tax provision (benefit)
1,764

 
(526
)
Non-GAAP net income
$
5,480

 
$
4,945

The following table is a reconciliation of diluted income (loss) earnings per share to non-GAAP diluted EPS:

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Year Ended December 31,
 
2018
 
2017
Diluted income (loss) earnings per share
$
0.06

 
$
(0.55
)
Goodwill impairment

 
0.67

Non-cash interest and finance expense

 

Stock-based compensation
0.10

 
0.17

Non-recurring facility exit charges
0.04

 

Deferred income tax (benefit) provision
0.10

 
(0.03
)
Non-GAAP diluted EPS
$
0.30

 
$
0.26

Non-GAAP diluted weighted average shares outstanding
18,281,638

 
18,867,172

The following table is a reconciliation of basic weighted average shares outstanding to non-GAAP diluted weighted average shares outstanding:
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
2018
 
2017
Basic weighted average shares
18,280,788

 
18,502,158

Effect of exercising warrants
850

 
364,209

Effect of exercising stock options

 
805

Non-GAAP diluted weighted average shares outstanding
18,281,638

 
18,867,172

The following table is a reconciliation of net income (loss) (our most directly comparable financial measure presented in accordance with GAAP) to Adjusted EBITDA:
 
Year Ended December 31,
($ in thousands)
2018
 
2017
Net income (loss)
$
1,088

 
$
(10,122
)
Goodwill impairment

 
12,371

Depreciation and amortization
1,780

 
1,562

Interest and finance expense
1,011

 
1,347

Income tax provision (benefit)
1,831

 
(447
)
State and local franchise taxes
113

 
107

Stock-based compensation
1,788

 
3,184

Non-recurring facility exit charges
799

 

Adjusted EBITDA
$
8,410

 
$
8,002

Liquidity and Capital Resources
Liquidity
Our principal capital requirements have been to fund working capital needs, acquire new brands, and to a lesser extent, capital expenditures. As of December 31, 2018 and December 31, 2017, our cash and cash equivalents were $8.8 million and $10.2 million, respectively.
Restricted cash at December 31, 2018 and December 31, 2017 consisted of $1.5 million in each year consisting of (i) $1.48 million of cash deposited with Bank Hapoalim B.M. (“BHI”) as collateral for an irrevocable standby letter of credit associated with the lease of our current corporate office and operating facilities, and (ii) $0.40 million of cash held as a security deposit for the sublease of our former corporate offices by us to a third-party subtenant.
We expect that existing cash and operating cash flows will be adequate to meet our operating needs, debt service obligations (including debt service under the Second Amended Loan and Security Agreement defined below), and capital expenditure needs, for at least the twelve months subsequent to the filing date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

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We are dependent on our licensees for a substantial portion of our revenues, and there is no assurance that the licensees will perform as projected. Our business operating model does not require significant capital expenditures.
Our contingent obligation related to the acquisition of the C Wonder Brand (see Note 5, Debt and Other long-term liabilities in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements) is payable in stock and/or cash, at our discretion. Payment of this obligation in stock would not affect our liquidity.
Changes in Working Capital
Our working capital (current assets less current liabilities, exclusive of contingent liabilities payable at our option in stock) was $10.6 million and $10.2 million as of December 31, 2018 and 2017, respectively. Commentary on components of our cash flows for the Current Year compared with the Prior Year is set forth below. Working capital as of December 31, 2018 included $11.0 million of accounts receivable; substantially all of this balance was collected subsequent to year-end.
Operating Activities
Net cash provided by operating activities was approximately $6.6 million and $4.7 million in the Current Year and Prior Year, respectively.
The Current Year’s cash provided by operating activities was primarily attributable to the combination of net income of $1.1 million plus non-cash expenses of approximately $5.7 million and net negative change in operating assets and liabilities of approximately $0.2 million. Non-cash net expenses mainly primarily consisted of $1.8 million of stock-based compensation, $1.8 million of depreciation and amortization and $1.8 million of deferred income tax expense. The net change in operating assets and liabilities includes a net increase in accounts receivable of $2.7 million, an increase in inventory of $2.0 million, an increase in prepaid expenses of $0.4 million, partially offset by (i) an increase in accounts payable, accrued expenses and other current liabilities of $4.4 million, and an increases of $0.2 million in other liabilities and $0.3 million in deferred revenue. Accounts receivable, inventory and accounts payable increases are mainly due to operations related to wholesale and e-commerce that were launched in 2018.
The Prior Year’s cash provided by operating activities was primarily attributable to the combination of a net loss of $(10.1) million plus non-cash expenses of approximately $16.8 million and net change in operating assets and liabilities of approximately $(2.0) million. Non-cash net expenses mainly consisted of $12.4 million related to the goodwill impairment charge, $3.2 million of stock-based compensation, $1.5 million of depreciation and amortization, non-cash interest and other finance costs of $0.23 million, and $(0.53) million of deferred income tax benefit. The net change in operating assets and liabilities includes a net increase in accounts receivable of $1.6 million, and a decrease in accounts payable, accrued expenses and other current liabilities of $0.52 million, primarily attributable to bonus payouts and overall timing of payments.
Investing Activities
Net cash used in investing activities is predominantly related to capital expenditures and was approximately $1.5 million in the Current Year compared to $0.24 million in the prior year. In the Current Year, we had a $1.0 million capital expenditure relating to our department store business that we do not expect to be recurring, and had capital expenditures of $0.4 million related to the implementation of our ERP system.
Financing Activities
Net cash used in financing activities was approximately $6.5 million and $8.4 in the Current Year and Prior Year, respectively.
Net cash used in financing activities for the Current Year was primarily attributable to payments on our senior term debt obligation of $4.0 million, payment on our IM Seller Note obligation of $1.5 million, and shares repurchased related to vested restricted stock in exchange for withholding taxes of $1.0 million.

Net cash used in financing activities for the Prior Year was primarily attributable to payments on our senior term debt obligation of $5.8 million, payment on our IM Seller Note obligation of $1.4 million, and shares repurchased related to vested restricted stock in exchange for withholding taxes of $1.2 million.
Obligations and Commitments
Term Loan Debt

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On February 26, 2016, Xcel and its wholly owned subsidiaries, IM Brands, LLC, JR Licensing, LLC, H Licensing, LLC, C Wonder Licensing, LLC, Xcel Design Group, LLC, IMNY Retail Management, LLC, and IMNY E-Store, USA, LLC (each a “Guarantor” and collectively, the “Guarantors”), as Guarantors, entered into an Amended and Restated Loan and Security Agreement (the “Loan Agreement”) with BHI as agent, and the financial institutions party thereto as lenders (the “Lenders”). The Loan Agreement amended and restated the IM Term Loan, the JR Term Loan, and the H Term Loan. Pursuant to the Loan Agreement, Xcel assumed the obligations of each of IM Brands, LLC, JR Licensing, LLC, and H Licensing, LLC under the respective term loans with BHI in the aggregate principal amount of $27.9 million (the loan under the Loan Agreement is referred to as the “Xcel Term Loan”).
On February 24, 2017, Xcel and BHI amended the terms of the Loan Agreement (the “Amended Loan Agreement”). Under this amendment, principal payments for the year ending December 31, 2017 were increased by a total of $1,000,000, principal payments for the year ending December 31, 2021 were decreased by $1.0 million, and the minimum EBITDA (as defined in the Amended Loan Agreement) requirement for the year ended December 31, 2016 was eliminated. There were no changes to the total principal balance, interest rate, maturity date, or other terms of the Loan Agreement.
On June 15, 2017, Xcel and BHI entered into a second amendment to the Amended Loan Agreement. Under this amendment, principal payments for the year ending December 31, 2017 were increased by a total of $0.8 million, principal payments for the year ending December 31, 2021 were decreased by $0.8 million, the minimum EBITDA (as defined in the Second Amendment to the Amended Loan Agreement) requirement for the year ending December 31, 2017 was changed from $9.0 million to $7.0 million, and the minimum EBITDA requirements for the years ending December 31, 2018 and 2019 were changed from $9.0 million to $8.0 million. There were no changes to the total principal balance, interest rate, maturity date, or other terms of the Loan Agreement.
The Xcel Term Loan matures on January 1, 2021. Principal on the Xcel Term Loan is payable in quarterly installments on each of January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1. The aggregate remaining scheduled annual principal payments under the Second Amendment to the Amended Loan Agreement were as follows:
($ in thousands)
 
Year Ending December 31,
 
Amount of
Principal
Payment
2019
 
$
4,000

2020
 
4,000

2021
 
7,500

Total
 
$
15,500

Commencing with the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, the Company was required to repay a portion of the Xcel Term Loan in an amount equal to 10% of the excess cash flow for the fiscal year; provided that no early termination fee shall be payable with respect to any such payment (the “Excess Cash Flow Principal Payment”). Excess cash flow means, for any period, cash flow from operations (before certain permitted distributions) less (i) capital expenditures not made through the incurrence of indebtedness, (ii) all cash interest and principal and taxes paid or payable during such period, and (iii) all dividends declared and paid during such period to equity holders of any credit party treated as a disregarded entity for tax purposes. As of December 31, 2018 and 2017, the estimated Excess Cash Flow Principal Payment provision of the Xcel Term Loan did not result in any additional repayment.
The Company's obligations under the Amended Loan Agreement as of December 31, 2018 are guaranteed by the Guarantors and secured by all of the assets of Xcel and the Guarantors (as well as any subsidiary formed or acquired that becomes a credit party to the Amended Loan Agreement) and, subject to certain limitations contained in the Amended Loan Agreement, equity interests of the Guarantors (as well as any subsidiary formed or acquired that becomes a credit party to the Amended Loan Agreement).
The Amended Loan Agreement contains customary covenants, including reporting requirements, trademark preservation, and the following financial covenants of the Company (on a consolidated basis with the Guarantors and any subsidiaries subsequently formed or acquired that become a credit party under the Amended Loan Agreement):
net worth (as defined in the Amended Loan Agreement) of at least $90.0 million at the end of each fiscal quarter ending on June 30 and December 31, of each fiscal year;
liquid assets of at least $5.0 million, until such time as the ratio of indebtedness to EBITDA (as defined in the Amended Loan Agreement) is less than 1.00 to 1.00 and, in which event, liquid assets must be at least $3.0 million;
a fixed charge ratio of at least 1.20 to 1.00 for each fiscal quarter ended June 30 and December 31, for the twelve fiscal month period ending on such date;

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capital expenditures shall not exceed (i) $2.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2017, (ii) $1.7 million for 2018 and $0.7 million for any fiscal year thereafter; and
EBITDA (as defined in the Amended Loan Agreement) of $8.0 million for the fiscal years ending December 31, 2018 and 2019, and $9.0 million for the following fiscal years. (See Note 12 "Subsequent Events" for updated covenants pursuant to the Second Amended and Restated Loan and Security Agreement)
In connection with the above-mentioned refinancing transactions, the Company incurred fees to or on behalf of BHI of approximately $7,000 during the year ended December 31, 2017. These fees, along with $0.2 million of deferred finance costs related to financing transactions that took place in prior years, have been deferred on the Consolidated Balance Sheets as a reduction to the carrying value of the Xcel Term Loan, and are being amortized to interest expense over the term of the Term Loan using the effective interest method.
Interest on the Xcel Term Loan accrues at a fixed rate of 5.1% per annum and is payable on each day on which the scheduled principal payments are required to be made. For the Current Year and Prior Year, the Company incurred interest expense of approximately $0.9 million and $1.1 million, respectively, related to term loan debt.

On February 11, 2019 an amendment was made to the Amended Loan Agreement with BHI "Second Amended and Restated Loan and Security Agreement". Immediately prior to February 11, 2019, the aggregate principal amount of the term loan under the Amended Loan Agreement was $15.5 million. Pursuant to the Loan Agreement, the Lenders have extended an additional term loan in the amount of $7.5 million, such that, as of February 11, 2019, the aggregate outstanding balance of all the term loans by the Lenders to Xcel under the Second Amended and Restated Loan and Security Agreement was $22.0 million, which amount has been divided into two term loans: (1) a term loan in the amount of $7.3 million (“Term Loan A”) and (2) a term loan in the amount of $14.8 million (“Term Loan B” and, together with Term Loan A, the “Term Loans”). The Loan Agreement includes access to a revolving loan facility and a letter of credit facility, the terms of each of which shall be agreed to by Xcel and the Lenders. The Company has not drawn down any funds under either the revolving loan facility or letter of credit facility.
See Note 12 "Subsequent Events" for additional information.
The IM Seller Note
On September 29, 2011, as part of the consideration for the purchase of the Isaac Mizrahi Business, the Company issued to IM Ready-Made, LLC (“IM Ready”) a promissory note in the principal amount of $7.4 million (as amended, the “IM Seller Note”). The stated interest rate of the IM Seller Note was 0.25% per annum. Management determined that this rate was below the Company’s expected borrowing rate, which was then estimated at 9.25% per annum. Therefore, the Company discounted the IM Seller Note by $1.7 million using a 9.0% imputed annual interest rate, resulting in an initial value of $5.6 million. In addition, on September 29, 2011, the Company prepaid $0.1 million of interest on the IM Seller Note. The imputed interest amount was amortized over the term of the IM Seller Note and recorded as other interest and finance expense on the Company’s consolidated statements of operations.
On December 24, 2013, the IM Seller Note was amended to (1) revise the maturity date to September 30, 2016, (2) revise the date to which the maturity date may be extended to September 30, 2018, (3) provide the Company with a prepayment right with its common stock, subject to remitting in cash certain required cash payments and a minimum common stock price of $4.50 per share, and (4) require interim scheduled payments. The amendment included a partial repayment of $1.5 million of principal.
On September 19, 2016, the IM Seller Note was further amended and restated to (1) revise the maturity date to March 31, 2019, (2) require six semi-annual principal and interest installment payments of $0.8 million, commencing on September 30, 2016 and ending on March 31, 2019, (3) revise the stated interest rate to 2.236% per annum, (4) allow for optional prepayments at any time at the Company’s discretion without premium or penalty, and (5) require that all payments of principal and interest be made in cash. Management assessed and determined that this amendment represented a debt modification and, accordingly, no gain or loss was recorded.
As of December 31, 2018, the aggregate remaining annual principal payments under the IM Seller Note are as follows:
($ in thousands)
 
Amount of Principal Payment
Year Ending December 31,
 
2019
 
$
742

For the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017, the Company incurred interest expense of approximately $0.03 million and $0.07 million, respectively under the IM Seller Note, which consisted solely of amortization of the discount on the IM Seller Note.

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Ripka Seller Notes
As of December 31, 2018 and 2017, the remaining discounted balance, non-interest-bearing note relating to the Ripka Seller Notes was approximately $0.6 million and $0.5 million, respectively. An aggregate $0.6 million principal amount of the Ripka Seller Notes is due at maturity (March 31, 2019). For the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017, the Company incurred interest expense of approximately $0.04 million and $0.04 million, respectively, which consisted solely of amortization of the discount on the Ripka Seller Notes.
Contingent Obligation – JR Seller (Ripka Earn-Out)
In connection with the asset purchase of the Ripka Brand, the Company agreed to pay the sellers of the Ripka brand additional consideration of up to $5.0 million in aggregate (the “Ripka Earn-Out”), payable in cash or shares of the Company’s common stock based on the fair value of the Company’s common stock at the time of payment, and with a floor of $7.00 per share, based on the Ripka Brand achieving in excess of $1.0 million of net royalty income (excluding revenues generated by interactive television sales) during each of the 12-month periods ending on October 1, 2016, 2017 and 2018, less the sum of all earn-out payments for any prior earn-out period. The Ripka Earn-Out was recorded at a value of $3.8 million based on the difference between the fair value of the acquired assets of the Ripka Brand at the acquisition date and the total consideration paid. In accordance with ASC Topic 480, “Distinguishing Liabilities from Equity,” the Ripka Earn-Out obligation was classified as a liability in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets because of the variable number of shares payable under the agreement. 
On December 21, 2016, the Company entered into an agreement with the sellers of the Ripka Brand which amended the terms of the Ripka Earn-Out, such that the maximum amount of earn-out consideration was reduced to $0.4 million, of which $0.2 million was payable in cash upon execution of the amendment, and $0.1 million is payable in cash on each of May 15, 2018 and 2019. The payment of the remaining future payments of $0.1 million under the earn-out is contingent upon the Ripka Brand achieving at least $6.0 million of net royalty income from QVC during each of the 12-month periods ending on March 31, 2018 and 2019.
On May 15, 2018 the Company settled the $0.1 million earnout due by reducing the principal amount owed by Judith Ripka to the Company under a promissory note (included in prepaid expenses and other current assets on the Consolidated Balance Sheet as of December 31, 2018).
The remaining expected value (which approximates fair value) of the Ripka Earn-Out of $0.1 million is presented in the current portion of long-term debt on the accompanying Consolidated Balance Sheet as of December 31, 2018. As of December 31, 2017, the expected value of the Ripka Earn-out was $0.2 million, of which $0.1 million is presented in the accompanying Consolidated Balance Sheet in the current portion of long-term debt and $0.1 million is presented in long-term debt.
Contingent Obligation – CW Seller (C Wonder Earn-Out)
In connection with the asset purchase of the C Wonder Brand, the Company agreed to pay the seller additional consideration, which would be payable, if at all, in cash or shares of common stock of the Company, at the Company’s sole discretion, after June 30, 2019, with a value based on the royalties related directly to the assets the Company acquired pursuant to the purchase agreement. The value of the earn-out shall be calculated as the positive amount, if any, of (i) two times (A) the maximum net royalties as calculated for any single twelve month period commencing on July 1 and ending on June 30 between the closing date and June 30, 2019 (each, a “Royalty Target Year”) less (B) $4.0 million, plus (ii) two times the maximum royalty determined based on a percentage of retail and wholesale sales of C Wonder branded products by the Company as calculated for any single Royalty Target Year. The C Wonder Earn-Out of $2.9 million, which calculated at the asset acquisition date, is presented in the current portion of long-term debt on the accompanying consolidated balance sheets, as of December 31, 2018, and in long-term debt as of December 31, 2017. In accordance with ASC Topic 480, “Distinguishing Liabilities from Equity,” the C Wonder Earn-Out obligation is classified as a liability in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets because of the variable number of shares payable under the agreement.
As of December 31, 2018 and 2017, total contingent obligations were $3.0 million and $3.1 million, respectively.
Other Long-term Liabilities
Other long-term liabilities are primarily comprised of deferred rent of approximately $2.6 million and $2.5 million as of December 31, 2018 and 2017, respectively.
Commitments

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We believe that cash from future operations as well as currently available cash will be sufficient to satisfy our anticipated working capital requirements for the foreseeable future, including the debt service on our term debt, the Earn-Outs related to our acquisition of the Ripka and C Wonder brands, and making necessary investments in our infrastructure and technology.
The following is a summary of contractual cash obligations that existed as of December 31, 2018 for the future periods indicated:
($ in thousands)
2019
 
2020
 
2021 and After
 
Total
Term debt (i)
$
4,000

 
$
4,000

 
$
7,500

 
$
15,500

Term debt interest (i)
1,221

 
1,058

 
1,476

 
3,755

IM Seller Note (principal and interest)
758

 

 

 
758

Operating leases
2,393

 
2,423

 
11,811

 
16,627

Employment contracts
5,105

 
2,853

 
474

 
8,432

Total contractual cash obligations
$
13,477

 
$
10,334

 
$
21,261

 
$
45,072


(i)
The amount of future term debt and interest payments presented in the table above is as of December 31, 2018 and does not include the debt service obligations in accordance with the Second Amendment and Restated Loan and Security Agreement, effective February 2019.

Other Factors
We continue to seek to expand and diversify the types of licensed products being produced under our brands. We plan to continue to diversify the distribution channels within which licensed products are sold, in an effort to reduce dependence on any particular retailer, consumer, or market sector within each of our brands. The Mizrahi brand, H Halston brand, Halston Heritage Brands, and C Wonder brand have a core business in fashion apparel and accessories. The Ripka brand historically has been focused on fine jewelry, which we believe helps diversify our industry focus while at the same time complements, expands on, and grows our overall business relationship with QVC.
In May 2017, we entered into an agreement with QVC to terminate our interactive television license agreement for the C Wonder brand, under which QVC remained obligated to pay royalties to us through January 2018, and QVC retained exclusive rights with respect to C Wonder branded products for interactive television, excluding certain permitted international entities, through May 2018. We are pursuing new distribution channels and licensing partners, and intend to enter into new contractual agreements for the C Wonder brand.
Our success, however, will still remain largely dependent on our ability to build and maintain our brands’ awareness and continue to attract wholesale and direct to consumer customers and contract with and retain key licensees, as well as our and our licensees’ ability to accurately predict upcoming fashion and design trends within their respective customer bases and fulfill the product requirements of the particular retail channels within the global marketplace. Unanticipated changes in consumer fashion preferences and purchasing patterns, slowdowns in the U.S. economy, changes in the prices of supplies, consolidation of retail establishments, and other factors noted in “Risk Factors” could adversely affect our licensees’ ability to meet and/or exceed their contractual commitments to us and thereby adversely affect our future operating results.
Effects of Inflation
We do not believe that the relatively moderate rates of inflation experienced over the past two years in the United States, where we primarily compete, have had a significant effect on revenues or profitability. Our wholesale operations suppliers (most of which are abroad) could face economic pressures as a result of rising wages and inflation or be affected by trade wars or increases in tariffs materially impacting their business. 
If there were an adverse change in the rate of inflation by less than 10%, the expected effect on net income and cash flows would be immaterial.
Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements
We do not have any off-balance sheet arrangements that have or are reasonably likely to have a current or future material effect on our financial condition, results of operations or liquidity.
Item 7A.
Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

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Not applicable.

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Item 8.        Financial Statements and Supplementary Data
REPORT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM
To the Board of Directors and
Stockholders of Xcel Brands, Inc. and Subsidiaries
Opinion on the Consolidated Financial Statements
We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets of Xcel Brands, Inc. and Subsidiaries (the “Company”) as of December 31, 2018 and 2017, and the related consolidated statements of operations, stockholders’ equity and cash flows for the years then ended, and the related notes (collectively referred to as the consolidated financial statements). In our opinion, the consolidated financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company as of December 31, 2018 and 2017, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for the years then ended, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. 
Basis for Opinion
These consolidated financial statements are the responsibility of the Company’s management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company’s consolidated financial statements based on our audits. We are a public accounting firm registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) ("PCAOB") and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.
We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the consolidated financial statements are free of material misstatement, whether due to error or fraud. The Company is not required to have, nor were we engaged to perform, an audit of its internal control over financial reporting. As part of our audits, we are required to obtain an understanding of internal control over financial reporting, but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the Company's internal control over financial reporting. Accordingly, we express no such opinion. 
Our audits included performing procedures to assess the risks of material misstatement of the consolidated financial statements, whether due to error or fraud, and performing procedures that respond to those risks. Such procedures included examining, on a test basis, evidence regarding the amounts and disclosures in the consolidated financial statements. Our audits also included evaluating the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the consolidated financial statements. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.
/s/ CohnReznick LLP
We have served as the Company’s auditors since 2012.
New York, New York
March 29, 2019

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Xcel Brands, Inc. and Subsidiaries
Consolidated Balance Sheets
(in thousands, except share and per share data)
 
December 31, 2018
 
December 31, 2017
 
 
 
 
Assets
 

 
 

Current Assets:
 

 
 

Cash and cash equivalents
$
8,837

 
$
10,185

Accounts receivable, net
11,010

 
8,528

Inventory
1,988

 

Prepaid expenses and other current assets
2,040

 
592

Total current assets
23,875

 
19,305

Property and equipment, net
3,202

 
2,376

Trademarks and other intangibles, net
108,989

 
110,120

Restricted cash
1,482

 
1,509

Other assets
511

 
1,708

Total non-current assets
114,184

 
115,713

 
 
 
 
Total Assets
$
138,059

 
$
135,018

 
 
 
 
Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity
 
 
 
Current Liabilities:
 
 
 
Accounts payable, accrued expenses and other current liabilities
$
5,558

 
$
1,260

Accrued payroll
2,011

 
2,270

Deferred revenue
272

 
16

Current portion of long-term debt
5,325

 
5,459

Current portion of long-term debt, contingent obligations
2,950

 
100

Total current liabilities
16,116

 
9,105

Long-Term Liabilities:
 
 
 
Long-term debt, less current portion
11,300

 
19,389

Deferred tax liabilities, net
8,139

 
6,375

Other long-term liabilities
2,622

 
2,455

Total long-term liabilities
22,061

 
28,219

Total Liabilities
38,177

 
37,324

 
 
 
 
Commitments and Contingencies


 


 
 
 
 
Stockholders' Equity:
 
 
 
Preferred stock, $.001 par value, 1,000,000 shares authorized, none issued and outstanding

 

Common stock, $.001 par value, 50,000,000 and 35,000,000 shares authorized at December 31, 2018 and 2017, respectively, and 18,138,616 and 18,318,961 issued and outstanding at December 31, 2018 and 2017, respectively
18

 
18

Paid-in capital
100,097

 
98,997

Accumulated deficit
(233
)
 
(1,321
)
Total Stockholders' Equity
99,882

 
97,694

 
 
 
 
Total Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity
$
138,059

 
$
135,018

See Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.


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Xcel Brands, Inc. and Subsidiaries
Consolidated Statements of Operations
(in thousands, except share and per share data)
 
For the Year Ended
December 31,
 
2018
 
2017
Revenues
 
 
 
Net licensing revenue
$
31,190

 
$
31,706

Sales
4,276

 

Total revenue
35,466

 
31,706

Cost of goods sold (sales)
2,702

 

Net revenue
32,764

 
31,706

Operating costs and expenses
 
 
 
Salaries, benefits and employment taxes
16,560

 
16,760

Other design and marketing costs
2,696

 
2,352

Other selling, general and administrative expenses
5,211

 
4,699

Facilities exit charge
799

 

Stock-based compensation
1,788

 
3,184

Depreciation and amortization
1,780

 
1,562

Goodwill impairment

 
12,371

Total operating costs and expenses
28,834

 
40,928

 
 
 
 
Operating income (loss)
3,930

 
(9,222
)
 
 
 
 
Interest and finance expense
 
 
 
Interest expense - term debt
912

 
1,171

Other interest and finance charges
99

 
176

Total interest and finance expense
1,011

 
1,347

 
 
 
 
Income (loss) before income tax provision (benefit)
2,919

 
(10,569
)
 
 
 
 
Income tax provision (benefit)
1,831

 
(447
)
 
 
 
 
Net income (loss)
$
1,088

 
$
(10,122
)
 
 
 
 
Earnings (loss) per share attributable to common stockholders:
 
 
 
Basic
$
0.06

 
$
(0.55
)
Diluted
$
0.06

 
$
(0.55
)
Weighted average number of common shares outstanding:
 
 
 
Basic
18,280,788

 
18,502,158

Diluted
18,281,638

 
18,502,158

See Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

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Xcel Brands, Inc. and Subsidiaries
Consolidated Statement of Stockholders' Equity
(in thousands, except share data)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Retained
Earnings / (Accumulated Deficit)
 
 
 
Common Stock
 
Paid-in
Capital
 
 
Total
 
Shares
 
Amount
Balance as of January 1, 2017
18,644,982

 
$
19

 
$
97,354

 
$
8,801

 
$
106,174

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Shares issued to employees in connection with restricted stock grants, net of forfeitures
125,334

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Compensation expense in connection with stock options and restricted stock

 

 
2,839

 

 
2,839

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Shares repurchased including vested restricted stock in exchange for withholding taxes
(451,355
)
 
(1
)
 
(1,196
)
 

 
(1,197
)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net loss for the year ended December 31, 2017

 

 

 
(10,122
)
 
(10,122
)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Balance as of December 31, 2017
18,318,961

 
18

 
98,997

 
(1,321
)
 
97,694

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Shares issued to employees in connection with restricted stock grants, net of forfeitures
190,806

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Compensation expense in connection with stock options and restricted stock

 

 
2,133

 

 
2,133

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Shares repurchased including vested restricted stock in exchange for withholding taxes
(371,151
)
 

 
(1,033
)
 

 
(1,033
)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net income for the year ended December 31, 2018

 

 

 
1,088

 
1,088

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Balance as of December 31, 2018
18,138,616

 
$
18

 
$
100,097

 
$
(233
)
 
$
99,882

See Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.


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Xcel Brands, Inc. and Subsidiaries
Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
(in thousands)
 
For the Year Ended December 31,
 
2018
 
2017
 
 
 
 
Cash flows from operating activities
 

 
 

Net income (loss)
$
1,088

 
$
(10,122
)
Adjustments to reconcile net income (loss) to net cash provided by operating activities:
 
 
 
Depreciation and amortization expense
1,780

 
1,562

Goodwill impairment

 
12,371

Amortization of deferred finance costs
169

 
193

Stock-based compensation
1,788

 
3,184

Allowance for doubtful accounts
172

 
13

Amortization of note discount
41

 
38

Deferred income tax
1,764

 
(526
)
Changes in operating assets and liabilities:
 
 
 
Accounts receivable
(2,653
)
 
(1,572
)
Inventory
(1,988
)
 

Prepaid expenses and other assets
(373
)
 
4

Accounts payable, accrued expenses and other current liabilities
4,382

 
(524
)
Deferred revenue
256

 
(218
)
Other liabilities
167

 
274

Net cash provided by operating activities
6,593

 
4,677

 
 
 
 
Cash flows from investing activities
 
 
 
Cost to acquire intangible assets

 
(30
)
Purchase of property and equipment
(1,476
)
 
(208
)
Net cash used in investing activities
(1,476
)
 
(238
)
 
 
 
 
Cash flows from financing activities
 
 
 
Shares repurchased including vested restricted stock in exchange for withholding taxes
(1,033
)
 
(1,197
)
Payment of deferred finance costs

 
(7
)
Payment of long-term debt
(5,459
)
 
(7,177
)
Net cash used in financing activities
(6,492
)
 
(8,381
)
 
 
 
 
Net decrease in cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash
(1,375
)
 
(3,942
)
 
 
 
 
Cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash at beginning of year
$
11,694

 
$
15,636

 
 
 
 
Cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash at end of year
$
10,319

 
$
11,694

 
 
 
 
Reconciliation to amounts on consolidated balance sheets:
 
 
 
Cash and cash equivalents
$
8,837

 
$
10,185

Restricted cash
1,482

 
1,509

Total cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash
$
10,319

 
$
11,694

 
 
 
 
Supplemental disclosure of non-cash activities:
 
 
 
Liability for equity-based bonuses
$
(345
)
 
$
345

Settlement of Ripka earnout through offset to note receivable
$
100

 
$

 
 
 
 
Supplemental disclosure of cash flow information:
 
 
 
Cash paid during the period for income taxes
$
302

 
$
167

Cash paid during the period for interest
$
969

 
$
1,253

See Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

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XCEL BRANDS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements
December 31, 2018 and 2017


1.    Nature of Operations, Background, and Basis of Presentation
Xcel Brands, Inc. (“Xcel” and, together with its subsidiaries, the “Company”) is a media and consumer products company engaged in the design, production, marketing, and direct-to-consumer sales of branded apparel, footwear, accessories, jewelry, home goods and other consumer products, and the acquisition of dynamic consumer lifestyle brands. We have developed a Fast-to-Market supply chain capability driven by its proprietary integrated technology platform. Currently, our brand portfolio consists of the Isaac Mizrahi brand (the "Isaac Mizrahi Brand"), the Judith Ripka brand (the "Ripka Brand"), the H by Halston and H Halston brands (collectively, the "H Halston Brands"), the C Wonder brand (the "C Wonder Brand"), and the Highline Collective brand. In addition, the Halston brand, the Halston Heritage brand and Roy Frowick brand (collectively the "Halston Heritage Brands") were acquired on February 11, 2019. See Note 12 "Subsequent Events" for additional information.
The Company licenses its brands to third parties, provides certain design, production, and marketing and distribution services, and generates licensing and design fee revenues through contractual arrangements with manufacturers and retailers. This includes licensing its own brands for promotion and distribution through a ubiquitous-channel retail sales strategy, which includes distribution through interactive television, the internet, and traditional brick-and-mortar retail channels.
During January 2018, the Company launched its jewelry wholesale and e-commerce operations and in November 2018, launched its apparel wholesale operations. The Company separately presented in its Consolidated Statements of Operations, "Sales" and "Cost of goods sold (sales)" relating to its jewelry and apparel wholesale and jewelry e-commerce operations.
2.    Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
Principles of Consolidation
The consolidated financial statements include the accounts of Xcel and its wholly owned subsidiaries as of and for the years ended December 31, 2018 (the "Current Year") and 2017 (the "Prior Year"). The consolidated financial statements have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“U.S. GAAP”) and in accordance with the accounting rules under Regulation S-X, as promulgated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). All significant intercompany accounts and transactions have been eliminated in consolidation.
Use of Estimates
The preparation of the consolidated financial statements in conformity with U.S. GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the consolidated financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period.
Making estimates requires management to exercise significant judgment. It is at least reasonably possible that the estimate of the effect of a condition, situation, or set of circumstances that existed at the date of the consolidated financial statements, which management considered in formulating its estimate, could change in the near term due to one or more future confirming events. Accordingly, the actual results could differ significantly from estimates.
The Company deems the following items to require significant estimates from management:
Allowance for doubtful accounts;
Useful lives of trademarks;
Assumptions used in the valuation of intangible assets and goodwill including cash flow estimates for impairment analysis;
Black-Scholes option pricing model assumptions for stock option values;
Performance-based stock option expense recognition;
Inventory reserves; and
Valuation allowances and effective tax rate for tax purposes.

Cash and Cash Equivalents
The Company considers all highly-liquid investments with original maturities of three months or less to be cash equivalents.
Accounts Receivable

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XCEL BRANDS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements
December 31, 2018 and 2017

Accounts receivable are reported net of the allowance for doubtful accounts. Allowance for doubtful accounts is based on the Company’s ongoing discussions with its licensees, wholesale and digital customers and its evaluation of each customer's payment history, account aging, and financial position. As of December 31, 2018 and 2017, the Company had $11.0 million and $8.5 million of accounts receivable, net of allowances for doubtful accounts of approximately $0.2 million and $0.03 million, respectively. The accounts receivable balance includes approximately $0.00 million and $0.38 million of earned revenue that has been accrued but not billed as of December 31, 2018 and 2017, respectively.
Inventory

Inventory is recorded at the lower of cost or net realizable value, with cost determined on a weighted average basis. The Company holds finished goods inventory for its e-commerce jewelry operations. Apparel and jewelry finished goods inventory is purchased to satisfy orders received from its wholesale operations. The Company periodically reviews the composition of its inventories in order to identify obsolete, slow-moving or otherwise non-saleable items. If non-saleable items are observed and there are no alternate uses for the inventories, the Company will record a write-down to net realizable value in the period that the decline in value is first recognized. Reserves for inventory shrinkage, representing the risk of physical loss of inventory, are estimated based on historical experience and are adjusted based upon physical inventory counts.
Property and Equipment
Furniture, equipment, and software are stated at cost less accumulated depreciation and amortization, and are depreciated using the straight-line method over their estimated useful lives, generally three (3) to seven (7) years. Leasehold improvements are amortized over the shorter of their estimated useful lives or the terms of the leases. Betterments and improvements are capitalized, while repairs and maintenance are expensed as incurred.
Trademarks, Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets
The Company follows Financial Accounting Standards Board, or FASB, Accounting Standard Codification, or ASC Topic 350, “Intangibles - Goodwill and Other.” Under this standard, goodwill and indefinite lived intangible assets are not amortized, but are required to be assessed for impairment at least annually (we utilize December 31 as our testing date) and when events occur or circumstances change that would more likely than not reduce the fair value of the asset below its carrying amount.
Goodwill
The Company annually has the option to first assess qualitatively whether it is more likely than not that there is an impairment. Should the results of this assessment result in either an ambiguous or unfavorable conclusion, the Company will perform additional quantitative testing. The first quantitative testing step compares estimated fair value with carrying value. If the estimated fair value exceeds the carrying value, then goodwill is considered not impaired. If the carrying value exceeds the estimated fair value, then a second step is performed to determine the implied fair value of goodwill. If the carrying value of goodwill exceeds its implied fair value, then an impairment charge equal to the difference is recorded. This requires the Company’s management to make certain assumptions and estimates regarding certain industry trends and future revenues of the Company.
The Company performed its annual quantitative analysis of goodwill at December 31, 2017. As a result of the December 31, 2017 impairment testing, the Company recorded a non-cash impairment charge in the fourth quarter of 2017 for the total amount of goodwill previously recorded on its balance sheet of approximately $12.4 million. The underlying cause of the impairment was the declining public trading price of the Company’s common stock and the ensuing decrease in the Company’s market capitalization, as of December 31, 2017, as compared to the calculated fair value of the Company (see below for further discussion of the determination of fair value). The Company’s trading price for its common stock had been declining in 2017 due to our thinly traded stock, failure of the market to distinguish us from our competitors with poor balance sheets, and general outlook on the consumer retail environment. Due to the prolonged decline in the Company’s stock price, it was determined during the fourth quarter that such a decline was no longer temporary.
With reference to the goodwill quantitative testing at December 31, 2017, the Company determined fair value using a weighted approach, including both an income approach and a market approach. The income approach included a discounted cash flow model relying on significant assumptions consisting of revenue growth rates and operating margins based on internal forecasts, terminal value, and the weighted average cost of capital ("WACC") used to discount future cash flows (in our 2017 analysis, we used a discount rate of 13%). Internal forecasts of revenue growth, operating margins, and working capital needs over the next five years were developed with consideration of macroeconomic factors, historical performance, and planned activities. In 2017, the Company made a terminal value assumption that cash flows would grow 4.0% each year subsequent to year five, based on management

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Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements
December 31, 2018 and 2017

expectations for the long-term growth prospects of the Company. The residual value was determined under both an EBITDA exit multiple and a Gordon Growth model. To determine the WACC, the Company used a standard valuation method, the Capital Asset Pricing Model (“CAPM”), based on readily available and current market data of peer companies considered market participants. An additional risk premium of 2% was added to the WACC. As some of the other comparable companies have significant levels of debt, Xcel’s public data was selected for the capital structure and beta. For the market approach, the Company considered both the Guideline Companies method and the Comparable Transactions method. The inputs and assumptions utilized in the goodwill impairment analysis are classified as Level 3 inputs in the fair value hierarchy.
Indefinite Lived Intangible Assets
The Company tests its indefinite-lived intangible assets for recovery in accordance with ASC-820-10-55-3F, which states that the income approach (“Income Approach”) converts future amounts (for example cash flows) to a single current (that is, discounted) amount. When the Income Approach is used, fair value measurement reflects current market expectations about those future amounts. The Income Approach is based on the present value of future earnings expected to be generated by a business or asset. Income projections for a future period are discounted at a rate commensurate with the degree of risk associated with future proceeds. A residual or terminal value is also added to the present value of the income to quantify the value of the business beyond the projection period. As such, recoverability of assets to be held and used is measured by a comparison of the carrying amount of the asset to its expected future discounted net cash flows. If the carrying amount of such assets is considered to be impaired, the impairment to be recognized is measured as the amount by which the carrying amount of the assets exceeds the recoverable amount of the assets. There were no impairments charges in the Current Year or Prior Year.
Finite Lived Intangible Assets
The Company’s finite lived intangible assets, including Trademarks, are reviewed for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that their carrying value may not be recoverable. An impairment loss is recognized if the carrying amount of a finite lived intangible asset is not recoverable and its carrying amount exceeds its fair value. No impairment charges were recorded for the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017.
With reference to our finite-lived intangible assets impairment testing, the Company groups assets and liabilities at the lowest level for which identifiable cash flows are largely independent of the cash flows of other assets and liabilities and evaluate the asset group against the sum of undiscounted future cash flows. If the undiscounted cash flows do not indicate the carrying amount of the asset is recoverable, an impairment charge is measured as the amount by which the carrying amount of the asset group exceeds its fair value based on undiscounted cash flows analysis or appraisals. The inputs utilized in the finite-lived intangible assets impairment analysis are classified as Level 3 inputs within the fair value hierarchy as defined in ASC 820.
The Company’s finite lived intangible assets are amortized over their estimated useful lives of four (4) to fifteen (15) years.
Restricted Cash
Restricted cash at both December 31, 2018 and 2017 was (i) $1.5 million and consists of cash deposited with Bank Hapoalim B.M. (“BHI”) as (i) $1.0 million collateral for an irrevocable standby letter of credit associated with the lease of the Company’s current corporate office and operating facilities at 1333 Broadway, New York City, and (ii) $0.4 million of cash held as a security deposit for the sublease of the Company’s former corporate offices by the Company to a third-party subtenant.
Investment in Unconsolidated Affiliate
The Company holds a limited partner ownership interest in an unconsolidated affiliate, which was entered into in 2016. This investment is accounted for in accordance with ASU No. 2016-01, "Financial Instruments" Overall (Subtopic 825-10): "Recognition and Measurement of Financial Assets and Financial Liabilities," and is included within other assets on the Company’s consolidated balance sheets at December 31, 2018 and 2017. As of December 31, 2018 and 2017, the carrying value of this investment was $0.1 million. This investment does not have a readily determinable fair value and in accordance with ASC 820-10-35-59, the investment is valued at cost, less impairment, plus or minus observable price changes of an identical or similar investment of the same issuer.
Note Receivable
The Company holds a promissory note receivable from a certain key employee in the principal amount of $0.9 million. This note receivable was entered into during 2016 is due and payable on April 1, 2019, and is fully collateralized by various assets of the

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Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements
December 31, 2018 and 2017

employee in which the Company has been granted a security interest. The note receivable has been recorded at amortized cost, and is included within other assets on the Company’s consolidated balance sheets at December 31, 2018 and 2017. The note bears interest at 5.1%, which was prepaid through a non-refundable original issue discount; interest income is being recognized over the term of the note using the interest method. The net carrying value of the promissory note receivable at December 31, 2018 and 2017 was $0.9 million and $0.9 million, respectively.
Deferred Finance Costs
The Company incurred costs (primarily professional fees and lender underwriting fees) in connection with borrowings under the senior secured term loans. These costs have been deferred on the consolidated balance sheets as a reduction to the carrying value of the associated borrowings. Such costs are amortized as interest expense using the effective interest method.
Contingent Obligations
Management analyzes and quantifies the expected contingent obligations (expected earn-out payments) over the applicable pay-out period. Management assesses no less frequently than each reporting period the status of contingent obligations and any expected changes in the fair value of such contingent obligations. Any change in the expected obligation will result in expense or income recognized in the period in which it is determined that the fair value has changed. Additionally, when accounting for asset acquisitions, if any contingent obligations exist, such obligations are recognized and recorded as the positive difference between the fair value of the assets acquired and the consideration paid for the acquired assets. See Note 5 Debt and Other Long-term Liabilities for additional information related to contingent obligations.
Revenue Recognition

The Company adopted Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) 606, “Revenue from Contracts with Customers” under the modified retrospective adoption method effective January 1, 2018, by applying the new guidance only to contracts that were not completed at the date of initial application. The Company’s evaluation of the impact of the adoption of the new revenue standard on its consolidated financial statements included the identification of revenue within the scope of the guidance and the evaluation of applicable revenue contracts. The Company performed an extensive analysis of its existing contracts with customers and its revenue recognition policies and determined that the adoption did not result in material differences from the Company’s prior revenue recognition policies. In addition, the adoption of ASC 606 did not result in material differences in the amount of revenue recognized in the current year-to-date period when compared to the amount of revenue that would have been recognized in the current year-to-date period under the old guidance.

Licensing

The Company recognizes revenue continuously over time as it satisfies its continuous obligation of granting access to its licensed intellectual properties, which are deemed symbolic intellectual properties under the new revenue guidance. Payments are typically due after sales have occurred and have been reported by the licensees or, where applicable, in accordance with minimum guaranteed payments provisions. The timing of performance obligations is typically consistent with the timing of payments, though there may be differences if contracts provide for advances or significant escalations of contractually guaranteed minimum payments. There were no such differences that would have a material impact on our Consolidated Balance Sheet at December 31, 2018. In accordance with ASC 606-10-55-65, the Company recognizes revenue at the later of when (1) the subsequent sale or usage occurs or (2) the performance obligation to which some or all of the sales- or usage-based royalty has been allocated is satisfied (in whole or in part). More specifically, the Company separately identifies:
 
(i) Contracts for which, based on experience, royalties are expected to exceed any applicable minimum guaranteed payments, and to which an output-based measure of progress based on the “right to invoice” practical expedient is applied because the royalties due for each period correlate directly with the value to the customer of the Company’s performance in each period (this approach is identified as “View A” by the FASB Revenue Recognition Transition Resource Group, “TRG”); and

(ii) Contracts for which revenue is recognized based on minimum guaranteed payments using an appropriate measure of progress, in which minimum guaranteed payments are straight-lined over the term of the contract and recognized ratably based on the passage of time, and to which the royalty recognition constraint to the sales-based royalties in excess of minimum guaranteed is applied and such sales-based royalties are recognized to distinct period only when the minimum guaranteed is exceeded on a cumulative basis (this approach is identified as “View C” by the TRG).

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Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements
December 31, 2018 and 2017

 
The Company does not typically perform by transferring goods or services to customers before the customer pays consideration or before payment is due, thus the implementation of ASC 606 did not result in material contract assets in accordance with ASC 606-10-45-3. The Company’s unconditional right to receive consideration based on the terms and conditions of licensing contracts is presented as accounts receivable on the accompanying consolidated balance. The Company typically does not receive consideration in advance of performance and, consequently, amounts of contract liabilities as defined by ASC 606-10-45-2 were not material as of December 31, 2018.
 
The Company does not disclose the amount attributable to unsatisfied or partially satisfied performance obligations for variable revenue contracts (identified under “View A” above) in accordance with the optional exemption allowed under ASC 606. The Company did not have any revenue recognized in the reporting period from performance obligations satisfied, or partially satisfied, in previous periods. Remaining minimum guaranteed payments for active contracts as of December 31, 2018 are expected to be recognized ratably in accordance with View C over the remaining term of each contract based on the passage of time and through December 2023.
 
Design Fees

The Company earns design fees for serving as a buying agent for apparel under private labels for large retailers. As a buying agent, the Company utilizes its expertise and relationships with manufacturers to facilitate the production of private label apparel to customer specifications. The Company’s design fee revenue also includes fees charged for its design and product development services provided to certain suppliers. The Company satisfies its performance obligation to its customers by performing the services in buyer agency agreements and thereby earning its design fee at the point in time when the customer’s freight forwarder takes control of the goods. The Company satisfies its performance obligation with the suppliers and earns its design fee from the factory at the point in time when the customer’s freight forwarder takes control of the goods.

Wholesale Sales

The Company generates revenue through the design, sourcing and sale of branded jewelry and apparel to both domestic and international customers who, in turn, sell the products to the consumer. The Company recognizes revenue when performance obligations identified under the terms of contracts with its customers are satisfied, which occurs upon the transfer of control of the merchandise in accordance with the contractual terms and conditions of the sale.

Direct to Consumer Sales

The Company's revenue associated with its e-commerce jewelry is recognized at a point in time when product is shipped to the customer.
Advertising Costs
All costs associated with production for the Company’s advertising, marketing and promotion are expensed during the periods when the activities take place. All other advertising costs, such as print and online media, are expensed when the advertisement occurs. The Company incurred $0.3 million in advertising and marketing costs for the year ended December 31, 2018 and $0.01 million for the year ended December 31, 2017.
Operating Leases
Total rental payments under operating leases that include scheduled payment increases and rent holidays are amortized on a straight-line basis over the term of the lease. Landlord allowances are amortized by the straight-line method from the possession date through the end of the term of the lease as a reduction of rent expense.
Stock-Based Compensation
The Company accounts for stock-based compensation in accordance with ASC Topic 718, “Compensation - Stock Compensation,” by recognizing the fair value of stock-based compensation as an operating expense over the service period of the award or term of the corresponding contract, as applicable.

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Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements
December 31, 2018 and 2017

The fair value of stock options and warrants is estimated on the date of grant using the Black-Scholes option pricing model. The valuation determined by the Black-Scholes option pricing model is affected by the Company’s stock price as well as assumptions regarding a number of highly complex and subjective variables. These variables include, but are not limited to, expected stock price volatility over the terms of the awards, and actual and projected employee stock option exercise behaviors. The risk-free rate is based on the U.S. Treasury rate for the expected life at the time of grant, volatility is based on the average long-term implied volatilities of peer companies, and expected life is based on the estimated average of the life of options and warrants using the simplified method. The Company utilizes the simplified method to determine the expected life of the options and warrants due to insufficient exercise activity during recent years as a basis from which to estimate future exercise patterns. The expected dividend assumption is based on the Company’s history and expectation of dividend payouts.
Restricted stock awards are valued using the fair value of the Company’s stock at the date of grant.
The Company accounts for non-employee awards in accordance with ASC Topic 505-50, “Equity-Based Payments to Non-Employees”.
The Company accounts for forfeitures as a reduction of compensation cost in the period when such forfeitures occur.
For stock option awards for which vesting is contingent upon the achievement of certain performance targets, the timing and amount of compensation expense recognized is based upon the Company’s projections and estimates of the relevant performance metric(s) until the time the performance obligation is satisfied.
Income Taxes
Current income taxes are based on the respective period’s taxable income for federal and state income tax reporting purposes. Deferred tax liabilities and assets are determined based on the difference between the financial statement and income tax bases of assets and liabilities, using enacted tax rates in effect for the year in which the differences are expected to reverse. A valuation allowance is required if, based on the weight of available evidence, it is more likely than not that some portion or all of the deferred tax assets will not be realized.
The Company applies the FASB guidance on accounting for uncertainty in income taxes, which prescribes a recognition threshold and measurement process for financial statement recognition and measurement of a tax position taken or expected to be taken in a tax return, and also addresses derecognition, classification, interest, and penalties related to uncertain tax positions. The Company has no unrecognized tax benefits as of December 31, 2018 and 2017. Interest and penalties related to uncertain tax positions, if any, are recorded in income tax expense.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“the Act”) was enacted on December 22, 2017. The income tax effects of changes in tax laws are recognized in the period when enacted. The Act provides for numerous significant tax law changes and modifications with varying effective dates, which include reducing the U.S. federal corporate income tax rate from a maximum of 35% to 21%, creating a territorial tax system (with a one-time mandatory repatriation tax on previously deferred foreign earnings), broadening the tax base, and allowing for immediate capital expensing of certain qualified property acquired and placed in service after September 27, 2017 and before January 1, 2023.
In response to the enactment of the Tax Act in late 2017, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 118 (“SAB 118”) to address situations where the accounting is incomplete for certain income tax effects of the Tax Act upon issuance of an entity’s financial statements for the reporting period in which the Act was enacted. Under SAB 118, a company may record provisional amounts during a measurement period for specific income tax effects of the Tax Act for which the accounting is incomplete but a reasonable estimate can be determined, and when unable to determine a reasonable estimate for any income tax effects, report provisional amounts in the first reporting period in which a reasonable estimate can be determined. The Company has recorded the impact of the tax effects of the Tax Act as of December 31, 2017, and as of December 31, 2018 the Company finalized its accounting for the income tax effects of the Act and had no change to its original estimates.
Fair Value
ASC 820-10, “Fair Value Measurements and Disclosures” (“ASC 820-10”), defines fair value and establishes a framework for measuring fair value under U.S. GAAP. The fair value of the Company’s financial assets and liabilities reflects management’s estimate of amounts that the Company would have received in connection with the sale of the assets or paid in connection with the transfer of the liabilities in an orderly transaction between market participants at the measurement date. In connection with measuring the fair value of the Company’s assets and liabilities, the Company seeks to maximize the use of observable inputs

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Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements
December 31, 2018 and 2017

(market data obtained from independent sources) and to minimize the use of unobservable inputs (internal assumptions about how market participants would price assets and liabilities).
Fair Value of Financial Instruments
For certain of the Company’s financial instruments, including cash and cash equivalents, restricted cash, accounts receivable, and accounts payable, the carrying amounts approximate fair value due to the short-term maturities of these instruments. The carrying value of the promissory note receivable approximates fair value because the fixed interest rate approximates current market rates and in the instances it does not, the impact is not material. The carrying value of the Xcel Term Loan (as defined in Note 5) approximates fair value because the fixed interest rate approximates current market rates and in the instances it does not, the impact is not material. When debt interest rates are below market rates, the Company considers the discounted value of the difference of actual interest rates and its internal borrowing against the scheduled debt payments. The fair value of the Company’s cost method investment does not have a readily determinable fair value and in accordance with ASC 820-10-35-59, the investment is valued at cost, less impairment, plus or minus observable price changes of an identical or similar investment of the same issuer.
Fair Value of Contingent Obligations
The Company recognized a contingent obligation in connection with the acquisition of Judith Ripka Trademarks during the year ended December 31, 2014. ASC 805-50-30 requires that, when accounting for asset acquisitions, when the fair value of the assets acquired is greater than the consideration paid, any contingent obligations shall be recognized and recorded as the positive difference between the fair value of the assets acquired and the consideration paid for the acquired assets. The Company also recognized a contingent obligation in connection with the acquisition of the C Wonder Trademarks in 2015. ASC 805-50-30 requires that, when the fair value of the assets acquired are equal to the consideration paid, any contingent obligations shall be recognized based upon the Company's best estimate of the amount that will be paid to settle the liability. See Note 5.
Concentrations of Credit Risk
Financial instruments that potentially subject the Company to concentrations of credit risk consist principally of cash and cash equivalents, restricted cash, accounts receivable, and notes receivable. The Company limits its credit risk with respect to cash by maintaining cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash balances with high quality financial institutions. At times, the Company’s cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash may exceed federally insured limits. Concentrations of credit risk with respect to accounts receivable are minimal due to the collection history and due to the nature of the Company’s royalty revenues. Generally, the Company does not require collateral or other security to support accounts receivable. Concentration of credit risk with respect to the promissory note receivable held by the Company is mitigated as it is fully collateralized by various assets in which the Company has been granted a security interest.
Earnings Per Share
Basic earnings (loss) per share is computed by dividing net income (loss) available to common stockholders by the weighted average number of common shares outstanding during the period, excluding the effects of any potentially dilutive securities. Diluted (loss) earnings per share reflect, in periods in which they have a dilutive effect, the effect of common shares issuable upon the exercise of stock options and warrants using the treasury stock method. The difference between basic and diluted weighted-average common shares results from the assumption that all dilutive stock options and warrants outstanding were exercised into common stock if the effect is not anti-dilutive.
Recently Issued Accounting Pronouncements

In August 2018, the FASB issued ASU No. 2018-13, “Fair Value Measurement (Topic 820): Disclosure Framework – Changes to the Disclosure Requirements for Fair Value Measurement.” This ASU adds, modifies and removes several disclosure requirements relative to the three levels of inputs used to measure fair value in accordance with Topic 820, “Fair Value Measurement.” This guidance is effective for public companies for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019, with early adoption permitted. The Company is currently evaluating the new guidance to determine the impact the adoption of this guidance will have on the Company’s results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.
 
In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-02, “Leases” (“ASU 2016-02”). The core principle of ASU 2016-02 is that an entity should recognize on its balance sheet assets and liabilities arising from a lease. In accordance with that principle, ASU 2016-02 requires that a lessee recognize a liability to make lease payments (the lease liability) and a right-of-use asset representing its right to use the underlying leased asset for the lease term. The recognition, measurement, and presentation of expenses and cash

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Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements
December 31, 2018 and 2017

flows arising from a lease by a lessee will depend on the lease classification as a finance or operating lease. In addition, in July 2018, the FASB issued ASU 2018-11, “Leases (Topic 842): Targeted Improvements”, which addresses implementation issues related to the new lease standard. This guidance is effective for the Company as of January 1, 2019 and the Company will adopt this guidance using the modified retrospective approach and will recognize a cumulative-effect adjustment to the opening balance of Retained earnings in that period. This guidance includes a number of optional practical expedients that the Company may elect to apply, including an expedient that permits lease agreements that are twelve months or less to be excluded from the balance sheet. The Company is finalizing the impact that this new guidance will have on its consolidated financial statements, including its disclosures. The primary impact upon adoption will be the recognition, on a discounted basis, of the Company’s minimum commitments under noncancelable operating leases as right of use assets and obligations on the consolidated balance sheets, in a range between $12.0 million to $14.0 million.

Recently Adopted Accounting Pronouncements

The Company adopted ASC 606 under the modified retrospective adoption method effective January 1, 2018, by applying the new guidance only to contracts that were not completed at the date of initial application. The Company’s evaluation of the impact of the adoption of the new revenue standard on its consolidated financial statements included the identification of revenue within the scope of the guidance and the evaluation of applicable revenue contracts. The Company performed an extensive analysis of its existing contracts with customers and its revenue recognition policies and determined that the adoption did not result in material differences from the Company’s prior revenue recognition policies. In addition, the adoption of ASC 606 did not result in material differences in the amount of revenue recognized in the current quarter and year-to-date period when compared to the amount of revenue that would have been recognized in the current quarter and year-to-date period under the old guidance. The Company recognizes revenue continuously over time as it satisfies its continuous obligation of granting access to its licensed intellectual properties, which are deemed symbolic intellectual properties under the new revenue guidance. Payments are typically due after sales have occurred and have been reported by the licensees or, where applicable, in accordance with minimum guaranteed payments provisions. The timing of performance obligations is typically consistent with the timing of payments, though there may be differences if contracts provide for advances or significant escalations of contractually guaranteed minimum payments. There were no such differences that would have a material impact on our Consolidated Balance Sheet at December 31, 2018 and December 31, 2017. In accordance with ASC 606-10-55-65, the Company recognizes revenue at the later of when (1) the subsequent sale or usage occurs or (2) the performance obligation to which some or all of the sales- or usage-based royalty has been allocated is satisfied (in whole or in part). More specifically, the Company separately identifies:

(i) Contracts for which, based on experience, royalties are expected to exceed any applicable minimum guaranteed payments, and to which an output-based measure of progress based on the “right to invoice” practical expedient is applied because the royalties due for each period correlate directly with the value to the customer of the Company’s performance in each period (this approach is identified as “View A” by the FASB Revenue Recognition Transition Resource Group, “TRG”); and

(ii) Contracts for which revenue is recognized based on minimum guaranteed payments using an appropriate measure of progress, in which minimum guaranteed payments are straight-lined over the term of the contract and recognized ratably based on the passage of time, and to which the royalty recognition constraint to the sales-based royalties in excess of minimum guaranteed is applied and such sales-based royalties are recognized to distinct period only when the minimum guaranteed is exceeded on a cumulative basis (this approach is identified as “View C” by the TRG).
 
The Company does not typically transfer goods or services to customers before the customer pays consideration or before payment is due, thus the implementation of ASC 606 did not result in material contract assets in accordance with ASC 606-10-45-3. The Company’s unconditional right to receive consideration based on the terms and conditions of licensing contracts is presented as accounts receivable on the accompanying Consolidated Balance Sheet. The Company typically does not receive consideration in advance of performance and, consequently, amounts of contract liabilities as defined by ASC 606-10-45-2 were not material as of December 31, 2018 and December 31, 2017.
 
The Company does not disclose the amount attributable to unsatisfied or partially satisfied performance obligations for variable revenue contracts (identified under “View A” above) in accordance with the optional exemption allowed under ASC 606. The Company did not have any revenue recognized in the reporting period from performance obligations satisfied, or partially satisfied, in previous periods. Remaining minimum guaranteed payments for active contracts as of December 31, 2018 are expected to be recognized ratably in accordance with View C over the remaining term of each contract based on the passage of time and through December 2023.


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Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements
December 31, 2018 and 2017

In June 2018, the FASB issued ASU No. 2018-07, “Compensation - Stock Compensation (Topic 718) - Improvements to Nonemployee Share-Based Payment Accounting” (“ASU 2018-07”), which largely aligns the accounting for share-based payment awards issued to employees and nonemployees. Under previous GAAP, the accounting for nonemployee share-based payments differed from that applied to employee awards, particularly with regard to the measurement date and the impact of performance conditions. Under the new guidance, the existing employee guidance will apply to nonemployee share-based transactions (as long as the transaction is not effectively a form of financing), with the exception of specific guidance related to the attribution of compensation cost. The cost of nonemployee awards will continue to be recorded as if the grantor had paid cash for the goods or services. In addition, the contractual term will be able to be used in lieu of an expected term in the option-pricing model for nonemployee awards. Changes to the accounting for nonemployee awards include:
Equity-classified share-based payment awards issued to nonemployees will now be measured on the grant date, instead of the previous requirement to remeasure the awards through the performance completion date;
For performance conditions, compensation cost associated with the award will be recognized when achievement of the performance condition is probable, rather than upon achievement of the performance condition; and
The current requirement to reassess the classification (equity or liability) for nonemployee awards upon vesting will be eliminated, except for awards in the form of convertible instruments.
  
The new guidance also clarifies that any share-based payment awards issued to customers should be evaluated under Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) 606, “Revenue from Contracts with Customers” (“ASC 606”).
 
This new accounting guidance is effective for public companies for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018 (i.e., calendar years beginning on January 1, 2019), including interim periods within those fiscal years. The guidance should be applied to all new awards granted after the date of adoption. In addition, all liability-classified awards that have not been settled and equity-classified awards for which a measurement date has not been established by the adoption date should be remeasured at fair value as of the adoption date with a cumulative effect adjustment to opening retained earnings in the fiscal year of adoption. Early adoption is permitted. The adoption of ASU 2018-07 did not have a material impact on the Company’s consolidated financial statements.

In January 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-01, which revises the guidance in ASC 825-10, Recognition and Measurement of Financial Assets and Financial Liabilities, and provides guidance for the recognition, measurement, presentation, and disclosure of financial assets and liabilities. The guidance is effective for reporting periods (interim and annual) beginning after December 15, 2017, for public companies. The adoption of this guidance did not have a significant impact on our consolidated financial statements.

In January 2017, the FASB issued guidance clarifying the definition of a business with the objective of adding guidance to assist entities with evaluating whether transactions should be accounted for as acquisitions or disposals of assets or businesses. The guidance provides a screen to determine when an integrated set of assets and activities is not a business, provides a framework to assist entities in evaluating whether both an input and substantive process are present, and narrows the definition of the term output. The guidance is effective for public business entities for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2017, including interim periods within those fiscal years, and early adoption is permitted. The guidance must be adopted on a prospective basis. We will consider the guidance for future transactions.
3.    Trademarks, Goodwill and Other Intangibles
Trademarks and other intangibles, net consist of the following:
 
 
 
December 31, 2018
($ in thousands)
Weighted-
Average
Amortization
Period
 
Gross Carrying
Amount
 
Accumulated
Amortization
 
Net Carrying
Amount
Trademarks (indefinite-lived)
n/a
 
$
96,707

 
$

 
$
96,707

Trademarks (finite-lived)
15 years
 
15,463

 
3,521

 
11,942

Non-compete agreement
7 years
 
561

 
321

 
240

Copyrights and other intellectual property
10 years
 
190

 
90

 
100

Total
 
 
$
112,921

 
$
3,932

 
$
108,989


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Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements
December 31, 2018 and 2017

 
 
 
December 31, 2017
($ in thousands)
Weighted-
Average
Amortization
Period
 
Gross Carrying
Amount
 
Accumulated
Amortization
 
Net Carrying
Amount
Trademarks (indefinite-lived)
n/a
 
$
96,707

 
$

 
$
96,707

Trademarks (finite-lived)
15 years
 
15,463

 
2,490

 
12,973

Non-compete agreement
7 years
 
561

 
240

 
321

Copyrights and other intellectual property
10 years
 
190

 
71

 
119

Total
 
 
$
112,921

 
$
2,801

 
$
110,120

The trademarks of the Isaac Mizrahi Brand, the Ripka Brand, and the H Halston Brands have been determined to have indefinite useful lives and accordingly, no amortization has been recorded in the Company’s consolidated statements of operations related to those intangible assets.
Amortization expense for finite lived intangible assets for each of the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017 was approximately $1.1 million.
Estimated future amortization expense related to finite lived intangible assets over the remaining useful lives is as follows:
($ in thousands)
 
Amortization
Expense
Year Ending December 31,
 
2019
 
$
1,130

2020
 
1,130

2021
 
1,130

2022
 
1,050

2023
 
1,050

Thereafter
 
6,793

Total
 
$
12,283

During the year ended December 31, 2017, the Company recorded a non-cash impairment charge of $12.4 million, which was the carrying amount of its goodwill immediately before the charge. The underlying cause of the impairment was the declining public trading price of the Company’s common stock and the ensuing decrease in the Company’s market capitalization as of December 31, 2017, as compared to the calculated fair value of the Company. The Company’s trading price for its common stock had been declining in 2017 due to its thinly traded stock, failure of the market to distinguish us from our competitors with poor balance sheets, and general outlook on consumer retail environment. Due to the prolonged decline in the Company’s stock price, it was determined during the fourth quarter that such a decline was no longer temporary. During 2017, management was continuously monitoring the Company’s stock price and its market capitalization and expectations were that the sector would eventually improve and the Company’s stock would trade again at a higher value, able to support the implied premium included in the fair value obtained through the above-mentioned weighted approach, and more representative of the Company’s expected long-term target stock price. The Company’s stock trading price gradually improved during 2017, however, beginning early November, the stock trading price began to trend back down. Management believed this to be a temporary trend, and that our stock price would soon improve. This position was supported by management consideration of some of our competitors’ highly leveraged businesses and that investors would eventually realize that the Company’s fair value was penalized by the resulting sector performance on the stock market. Although the Company’s stock price did improve toward the end of this year, due to the volatility and with continuing low stock trading prices, management decided to increase the relative weight of the market approach in its fair value model, and consequently increase the emphasis on its market peers, which ultimately resulted in the recording of the goodwill impairment.
4.    Significant Contracts
QVC Agreements
Through its wholly owned subsidiaries, the Company has direct-to-retail license agreements with QVC, pursuant to which the Company designs, and QVC sources and sells, various products under the IsaacMizrahiLIVE brand, the Judith Ripka brand, the H

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Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements
December 31, 2018 and 2017

by Halston brand, and the C Wonder brand. These agreements include, respectively, the IM QVC Agreement, the Ripka QVC Agreement, and the H QVC Agreement, (collectively, the “QVC Agreements”). QVC owns the rights to all designs produced under the QVC Agreements, and the QVC Agreements include the sale of products across various categories through QVC’s television media and related internet sites.
Pursuant to the agreements, the Company has granted to QVC and its affiliates the exclusive, worldwide right to promote the Company’s branded products, and the right to use and publish the related trademarks, service marks, copyrights, designs, logos, and other intellectual property rights owned, used, licensed and/or developed by the Company, for varying terms as set forth below. The Agreements include automatic renewal periods as detailed below unless terminated by either party.
Agreement
 
Current Term
Expiry
 
Automatic 
Renewal
 
Xcel Commenced
Brand with QVC
 
QVC Product
 Launch
IM QVC Agreement
 
September 30, 2020
 
one-year period
 
September 2011
 
2010
Ripka QVC Agreement
 
March 31, 2020
 
one-year period
 
April 2014
 
1999
H QVC Agreement
 
December 31, 2020
 
one-year period
 
January 2015
 
September 2015

On April 28, 2017, the Company and QVC entered into an amendment to terminate the C Wonder QVC Agreement effective May 1, 2017 and commence a sell-off period. During the sell-off period, QVC remained obligated to pay royalties to the Company through January 31, 2018, and QVC retained exclusive rights with respect to C Wonder branded products for interactive television, excluding certain permitted international entities, through May 1, 2018.
In connection with the foregoing and during the same periods, QVC and its subsidiaries have the exclusive, worldwide right to use the names, likenesses, images, voices, and performances of the Company’s spokespersons to promote the respective products. Under the IM QVC Agreement, IM Brands has also granted to QVC and its affiliates, during the same period, exclusive, worldwide rights to promote third-party vendor co-branded products that, in addition to bearing and being marketed in connection with the trademarks and logos of such third-party vendors, also bear or are marketed in connection with the IsaacMizrahiLIVE trademark and related logo.
Under the QVC Agreements, QVC is obligated to make payments to the Company on a quarterly basis, based primarily upon a percentage of the net retail sales of the specified branded products. Net retail sales are defined as the aggregate amount of all revenue generated through the sale of the specified branded products by QVC and its subsidiaries under the QVC Agreements, excluding freight, shipping and handling charges, customer returns, and sales, use, or other taxes.
Also, under the QVC Agreements, the Company will pay a royalty participation fee to QVC on revenue earned from the sale, license, consignment, or any other form of distribution of any products, bearing, marketed in connection with, or otherwise associated with the specified trademarks and brands.
Net revenue from QVC totaled $25.63 million and $25.77 million for the Current Year and Prior Year, respectively, representing approximately 72% and 81% of the Company’s total revenues, respectively. As of December 31, 2018 and 2017, the Company had receivables from QVC of $5.68 million and $5.47 million, representing approximately 52% and 64% of the Company’s accounts receivable, respectively. The December 31, 2018 and 2017 QVC receivables did not include any earned revenue accrued but not yet billed as of the respective balance sheet dates.

5.    Debt and Other Long-term Liabilities
Debt
The Company’s net carrying amount of debt is comprised of the following:

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Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements
December 31, 2018 and 2017

($ in thousands)
December 31,
 
2018
 
2017
Xcel Term Loan
$
15,500

 
$
19,500

Unamortized deferred finance costs related to term loans
(200
)
 
(346
)
IM Seller Note
742

 
2,201

Ripka Seller Notes
583

 
543

Contingent Obligation – JR Seller
100

 
200

Contingent Obligation – CW Seller
2,850

 
2,850

Total
19,575

 
24,948

Current portion (i), (ii)
8,275

 
5,559

Long-term debt
$
11,300

 
$
19,389

(i)
The current portion of long-term debt presented on the Consolidated Balance Sheet at December 31, 2018 includes (a) $4.0 million related to the Xcel Term Loan, (b) $0.74 million related to the IM Seller Note, (c) $2.95 million related to Contingent Obligations, and (d) $0.58 million related to the Ripka Seller Note.
(ii)
The current portion of long-term debt presented on the consolidated balance sheet at December 31, 2017 includes $4.0 million related to term loan debt, $1.46 million related to the IM Seller Note and $0.1 million related to a contingent obligation.

Xcel Term Loan
On February 26, 2016, the Company and its wholly owned subsidiaries, IM Brands, LLC, JR Licensing, LLC, H Licensing, LLC, C Wonder Licensing, LLC, Xcel Design Group, LLC, IMNY Retail Management, LLC, and IMNY E-Store, USA, LLC (each a “Guarantor” and collectively, the “Guarantors”), as Guarantors, entered into an amended and restated loan and security agreement (the “Loan Agreement”) with Bank Hapoalim B.M. (“BHI”) as agent, and the financial institutions party thereto as lenders. The Loan Agreement amended and restated the IM Term Loan, the JR Term Loan, and the H Term Loan. Pursuant to the Loan Agreement, Xcel assumed the obligations of each of IM Brands, LLC, JR Licensing, LLC, and H Licensing, LLC under the respective term loans with BHI in the aggregate principal amount of $27.9 million (the loan under the Loan Agreement is referred to as the “Xcel Term Loan”).
The Xcel Term Loan matures on January 1, 2021. Principal on the Xcel Term Loan is payable in quarterly installments on each of January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1.
On February 24, 2017, Xcel and BHI amended the terms of the Loan Agreement (the “Amended Loan Agreement”). Under this amendment, principal payments for the year ending December 31, 2018 were increased by a total of $1.0 million, principal payments for the year ending December 31, 2021 were decreased by $1.0 million, and the minimum EBITDA (as defined in the Loan Agreement) requirement for the year ended December 31, 2017 was eliminated. There were no changes to the total principal balance, interest rate, maturity date, or other terms of the Loan Agreement. Management assessed and determined that this amendment represented a debt modification and, accordingly, no gain or loss was recorded.
On June 15, 2017, Xcel and BHI entered into a second amendment to the Amended Loan Agreement. Under this amendment, principal payments for the year ending December 31, 2017 were increased by a total of $0.8 million, principal payments for the year ending December 31, 2021 were decreased by $0.8 million, the minimum EBITDA (as defined in the Second Amendment to the Amended Loan Agreement) requirement for the year ending December 31, 2017 was changed from $9.0 million to $7.0 million and the minimum EBITDA requirements for the years ending December 31, 2018 and 2019 were changed from $9.0 million to $8.0 million. There were no changes to the total principal balance, interest rate, maturity date, or other terms of the Amended Loan Agreement. Management assessed and determined that this amendment represented a debt modification and, accordingly, no gain or loss was recorded.
The aggregate remaining annual principal payments under the Amended Loan Agreement are as follows:

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Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements
December 31, 2018 and 2017

($ in thousands)
 
Amount of
Principal
Payment
Year Ending December 31,
 
2019
 
$
4,000

2020
 
4,000

2021
 
7,500

Total
 
$
15,500

 
Commencing with the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, the Company was required to repay a portion of the Xcel Term Loan in an amount equal to 10% of the excess cash flow for the fiscal year; provided that no early termination fee shall be payable with respect to any such payment (the “Excess Cash Flow Principal Payment”). Excess cash flow means, for any period, cash flow from operations (before certain permitted distributions) less (i) capital expenditures not made through the incurrence of indebtedness, (ii) all cash interest and principal and taxes paid or payable during such period, and (iii) all dividends declared and paid during such period to equity holders of any credit party treated as a disregarded entity for tax purposes. As of December 31, 2018 and 2017, the estimated Excess Cash Flow Principal Payment provision of the Xcel Term Loan did not result in any additional repayment.
The Company's obligations under the Amended Loan Agreement as of December 31, 2018 are guaranteed by the Guarantors and secured by all of the assets of Xcel and the Guarantors (as well as any subsidiary formed or acquired that becomes a credit party to the Amended Loan Agreement) and, subject to certain limitations contained in the Amended Loan Agreement, equity interests of the Guarantors (as well as any subsidiary formed or acquired that becomes a credit party to the Amended Loan Agreement).
The Amended Loan Agreement contains customary covenants, including reporting requirements, trademark preservation, and the following financial covenants of the Company (on a consolidated basis with the Guarantors and any subsidiaries subsequently formed or acquired that become a credit party under the Amended Loan Agreement):
net worth (as defined in the Amended Loan Agreement) of at least $90.0 million at the end of each fiscal quarter ending on June 30 and December 31, of each fiscal year;
liquid assets of at least $5.0 million, until such time as the ratio of indebtedness to EBITDA (as defined in the Amended Loan Agreement) is less than 1.00 to 1.00 and, in which event, liquid assets must be at least $3.0 million;
a fixed charge ratio of at least 1.20 to 1.00 for each fiscal quarter ended June 30 and December 31, for the twelve fiscal month period ending on such date;
capital expenditures shall not exceed (i) $2.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2017 and (ii) $1.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2018 (iii) $0.7 million for any fiscal year thereafter; and
EBITDA (as defined in the Amended Loan Agreement) of $8.0 million for the fiscal years ending December 31, 2018 and 2019, and $9.0 million for the following fiscal years.
In connection with the above-mentioned refinancing transactions, the Company incurred fees to or on behalf of BHI of approximately $7,000 during the year ended December 31, 2017. These fees, along with $0.2 million of deferred finance costs related to financing transactions that took place in prior years, have been deferred on the Consolidated Balance Sheets as a reduction to the carrying value of the Xcel Term Loan, and are being amortized to interest expense over the term of the Term Loan using the effective interest method. The current effective interest rate on the Amended Loan Agreement is equal to approximately 6.05%.
Interest on the Xcel Term Loan accrues at a fixed rate of 5.1% per annum and is payable on each day on which the scheduled principal payments are required to be made. For the Current Year and Prior Year, the Company incurred interest expense of approximately $0.9 million and $1.1 million, respectively, related to term loan debt.

On February 11, 2019, an amendment was made to the Amended Loan Agreement with BHI "Second Amended and Restated Loan and Security Agreement". Immediately prior to February 11, 2019, the aggregate principal amount of the term loan under the Amended Loan Agreement was $15.5 million. Pursuant to the Amended Loan Agreement, the Lenders have extended an additional term loan in the amount of $7.5 million, such that, as of February 11, 2019, the aggregate outstanding balance of all the term loans by the Lenders to Xcel under the Second Amended and Restated Loan and Security Agreement is $22.0 million, which amount has been divided into two term loans: (1) a term loan in the amount of $7.3 million (“Term Loan A”) and (2) a term loan in the amount of $14.8 million (“Term Loan B” and, together with Term Loan A, the “Term Loans”). See Note 12 "Subsequent Events" for additional information.
IM Seller Note

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Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements
December 31, 2018 and 2017

On September 29, 2011, as part of the consideration for the purchase of the Isaac Mizrahi Business, the Company issued to IM Ready-Made, LLC (“IM Ready”) a promissory note in the principal amount of $7.4 million (as amended, the “IM Seller Note”). The stated interest rate of the IM Seller Note was 0.25% per annum. Management determined that this rate was below the Company’s expected borrowing rate, which was then estimated at 9.25% per annum. Therefore, the Company discounted the IM Seller Note by $1.7 million using a 9.0% imputed annual interest rate, resulting in an initial value of $5.6 million. In addition, on September 29, 2011, the Company prepaid $0.1 million of interest on the IM Seller Note. The imputed interest amount was amortized over the term of the IM Seller Note and recorded as other interest and finance expense on the Company’s consolidated statements of operations.
On December 24, 2013, the IM Seller Note was amended to (1) revise the maturity date to September 30, 2016, (2) revise the date to which the maturity date may be extended to September 30, 2018, (3) provide the Company with a prepayment right with its common stock, subject to remitting in cash certain required cash payments and a minimum common stock price of $4.50 per share, and (4) require interim scheduled payments. The amendment included a partial repayment of $1.5 million of principal.
On September 19, 2016, the IM Seller Note was further amended and restated to (1) revise the maturity date to March 31, 2019, (2) require six semi-annual principal and interest installment payments of $0.8 million, commencing on September 30, 2016 and ending on March 31, 2019, (3) revise the stated interest rate to 2.236% per annum, (4) allow for optional prepayments at any time at the Company’s discretion without premium or penalty, and (5) require that all payments of principal and interest be made in cash. Management assessed and determined that this amendment represented a debt modification and, accordingly, no gain or loss was recorded.
As of December 31, 2018, the aggregate remaining annual principal payments under the IM Seller Note are as follows:
($ in thousands)
 
Amount of Principal Payment
Year Ending December 31,
 
2019
 
$
742

For the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017, the Company incurred interest expense of approximately $0.03 million and $0.07 million, respectively under the IM Seller Note, which consisted solely of amortization of the discount on the IM Seller Note.
Ripka Seller Notes
As of December 31, 2018 and 2017, the remaining discounted balance, non-interest-bearing note relating to the Ripka Seller Notes was approximately $0.58 million and $0.54 million, respectively. An aggregate $0.60 million principal amount of the Ripka Seller Notes is due at maturity (March 31, 2019). For the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017, the Company incurred interest expense of approximately $0.04 million and $0.04 million, respectively, which consisted solely of amortization of the discount on the Ripka Seller Notes.
Contingent Obligation – JR Seller (Ripka Earn-Out)
In connection with the asset purchase of the Ripka Brand, the Company agreed to pay the sellers of the Ripka brand additional consideration of up to $5.0 million in aggregate (the “Ripka Earn-Out”), payable in cash or shares of the Company’s common stock based on the fair value of the Company’s common stock at the time of payment, and with a floor of $7.00 per share, based on the Ripka Brand achieving in excess of $1.0 million of net royalty income (excluding revenues generated by interactive television sales) during each of the 12-month periods ending on October 1, 2016, 2017 and 2018, less the sum of all earn-out payments for any prior earn-out period. The Ripka Earn-Out was recorded at a value of $3.8 million based on the difference between the fair value of the acquired assets of the Ripka Brand at the acquisition date and the total consideration paid. In accordance with ASC Topic 480, “Distinguishing Liabilities from Equity,” the Ripka Earn-Out obligation was classified as a liability in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets because of the variable number of shares payable under the agreement. 
On December 21, 2016, the Company entered into an agreement with the sellers of the Ripka Brand which amended the terms of the Ripka Earn-Out, such that the maximum amount of earn-out consideration was reduced to $0.4 million, of which $0.2 million was payable in cash upon execution of the amendment, and $0.1 million is payable in cash on each of May 15, 2018 and 2019. The payment of the remaining future payments of $0.2 million under the earn-out is contingent upon the Ripka Brand achieving at least $6.0 million of net royalty income from QVC during each of the 12-month periods ending on March 31, 2018 and 2019.

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Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements
December 31, 2018 and 2017

On May 15, 2018 the Company settled the $0.1 million earnout due by reducing the principal amount owed by Judith Ripka to the Company under a promissory note (included in prepaid expenses and other current assets on the Consolidated Balance Sheets as of December 31, 2018).
The remaining expected value (which approximates fair value) of the Ripka Earn-Out of $0.1 million is presented in the current portion of long-term debt on the accompanying Consolidated Balance Sheets as of December 31, 2018. As of December 31, 2017, the expected value of the Ripka Earn-out was $0.2 million, of which $0.1 million is presented in the accompanying Consolidated Balance Sheet in the current portion of long-term debt and $0.1 million is presented in long-term debt.
Contingent Obligation – CW Seller (C Wonder Earn-Out)
In connection with the asset purchase of the C Wonder Brand, the Company agreed to pay the seller additional consideration, which would be payable, if at all, in cash or shares of common stock of the Company, at the Company’s sole discretion, after June 30, 2019, with a value based on the royalties related directly to the assets the Company acquired pursuant to the purchase agreement. The value of the earn-out shall be calculated as the positive amount, if any, of (i) two times (A) the maximum net royalties as calculated for any single twelve month period commencing on July 1 and ending on June 30 between the closing date and June 30, 2019 (each, a “Royalty Target Year”) less (B) $4.0 million, plus (ii) two times the maximum royalty determined based on a percentage of retail and wholesale sales of C Wonder brand