Ascendia Brands Inc, a health and beauty care products maker whose brands include Mr. Bubble bath foam, on Tuesday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and said it will try to sell itself.
The Hamilton, New Jersey-based company joined a growing number of companies in the retail sector to file for protection from creditors as the economy slows and costs increase.
Ascendia said it suffered from rising raw material costs, lower-than-expected sales of its Calgon and Healing Garden brands and higher-than-expected returns from some customers. It also blamed "general economic conditions" for the filing.
The company and five affiliates filed for protection with the U.S. bankruptcy court in Wilmington, Delaware.
Ascendia said it had $194.8 million of assets and $279 million of liabilities as of July 5. It said it lost $21.1 million from March to June, and has about 42 million shares.
Ascendia said it sells products through mass merchants such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc (nyse: WMT - news - people ) and Target Corp (nyse: TGT - news - people ), dollar-store chains such as Dollar General Corp (nyse: DG - news - people ), and specialty stores such as Ulta. The company employs 276 people.
Douglas Booth, Ascendia's chief restructuring officer, in an affidavit asked the bankruptcy court to schedule a September 10 auction for the company's assets. Ascendia is also seeking $9 million of financing from lenders led by Wells Fargo (nyse: WFC - news - people ) Foothill Inc to keep operating while in bankruptcy.
The company also said Coty Inc is among its largest unsecured creditors, with a $25.4 million claim.
Ascendia said its roots date to 1920,