Packable Holdings is laying off its workers at three Long...

Packable Holdings is laying off its workers at three Long Island locations, including this one in New Hyde Park. Credit: Google maps

Packable Holdings LLC, a seller of health and beauty products on Amazon.com and other e-commerce sites, will lay off 456 Long Island workers in the coming months and shutter its facilities after a plan to go public unraveled, according to government documents.

The company, which does business under the name Pharmapacks, has dual headquarters in New Hyde Park and Manhattan.

Ninety-one employees, included in the 456 total, were laid off on Monday. The additional layoffs will be done in stages through Jan. 8 at the company's facilities in Hauppauge (140,000 square feet and 202 employees), Edgewood (231,000 square feet and 155 employees) and New Hyde Park (43,000 square feet and 99 employees). 

“Over the last several months we have been working around the clock to provide a runway to fund our business," Packable said in an email. "Unfortunately, we were unable to secure the cash the business needs to operate. We are left with no choice but to proceed with an orderly wind-down of our operations, followed by a liquidation of our assets. We are grateful to our employees and proud of the work we have accomplished together."

Packable, which grew out of a Bronx pharmacy founded in 2010, markets and distributes a wide array of consumer product goods from major companies, including Johnson & Johnson, L'Oréal and Unilever, as well as lesser-known brands.

An investor presentation said that the company had about 130 suppliers, listed about 33,000 products and shipped an average of 40,000 orders a day for the 12 months ended mid-July 2021.

In September 2021, Packable announced an agreement to go public through a merger with a blank-check company, Highland Transcend Partners I Corp. That deal reportedly would have valued Packable at $1.6 billion.

In March, Packable and Highland Transcend announced that they had agreed to terminate the merger agreement, citing "unfavorable market conditions." 

Blank-check companies, also known as special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, raise money from public markets and then seek operating companies that could benefit from an infusion of capital as merger partners. 

In December 2021, a Highland Transcend shareholder filed a lawsuit, contending that disclosures related to the merger with Packable failed to include material information. After the merger was terminated, Highland Transcend argued that the lawsuit's claims were moot considering that the deal had been abandoned.

In 2021, a record of more than 1,000 initial public offerings were listed on U.S. exchanges, with more than half attributed to SPACs, according to data compiled by Nasdaq. In 2022, however, the appetite on public markets for relatively risky assets like SPACs dried up.

Requests seeking comment from Highland Transcend, which has resumed its search for a merger partner, were not immediately returned.

A Securities and Exchange Commission filing said that Packable's 2020 net loss was $114 million, a 190% increase from 2019, though its 2020 revenue grew 52% year-over-year to $373 million.

Packable has received funding from private equity firm Carlyle Group Inc., investment firm Fidelity Management & Research Company and several venture capital firms.

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