Looks like billionaire George Soros and American Apparel CEO Dov Charney now have more in common than the lawsuits they both currently face with former romantic partners.
Through Crystal Financial, a Boston firm of which the hedge fund manager is the top investor, Soros is set to extend a credit line worth $80 million to the Los Angeles-based retailer known for its hipster base and racy ads, the New York Post reports.
Soros, among the most successful hedge fund managers of all time, has never been one to fear the unconventional business move. He recently increased his stake in Israeli tech company Comverse, despite the fact it had been delisted from the NASDAQ over a backdating scandal in 2007. Soros similarly bought $2 billion of MF Global's European bounds after the company's now-infamous collapse late last year.
Yet American Apparel's recent troubles extend far beyond their founder's very public personal drama. The company has struggled to avoid bankruptcy since 2010, all while confronting a series of scandals that have undermined a once-favorable reputation. On multiple occasions, former employees have accused Charney of sexual harassment , while the company itself has been criticized for its "Teenagers Do It Better" T-shirts. Then, less than a year ago, a Los Angeles factory worker died while trying to fix a company knitting machine.
Could the Soros investment be a sign of an American Apparel rebound? Despite concerns that the company may have alienated its hipster base by cracking down on shoplifting, sales did indeed increase last month by 13 percent compared to last year, according to MarketWatch.
Still, the American Apparel bet is small potatoes when compared to the biggest bet of Soros' career. In 1992, he made his riskiest bet ever when he placed a $10 billion bet against the British pound. He walked away with $1 billion in profits.
Soros is currently embroiled in a lawsuit with a former girlfriend for allegedly going back on a promise he made to to give her an almost $2 million Manhattan apartment.
Some of American Apparel's moves have given it a less-than-stellar reputation. Here are 11 other companies with bad reputations: