American Apparel is filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The filing comes almost two years after the company ousted founder Dov Charney, who is locked in a legal fight and sued the American Apparel for defamation.

The Los Angeles company said Monday that its U.S. retail stores will continue to operate. International stores are not affected.

The plan will wipe out more than $200 million in bonds held by the retailer in exchange for equity interests. Lenders will provide about $90 million in debtor-in-possession financing.

American Apparel's board has approved the restructuring plan, which is expected to be completed in about six months. It still needs approvals from the bankruptcy court.

Shares of American Apparel Inc. plunged more than 24 percent in Monday premarket trading.

--Associated Press