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Bon-Ton Stores in active discussions with potential buyer

RBR Staff Writer Published 03 April 2018

US department store chain The Bon-Ton Stores is in active negotiations with potential buyers, and has secured approval from lenders to extend the deadline for submitting bids.

The company operates 251 stores, including nine furniture galleries, in 23 states in the Northeast, Midwest and upper Great Plains under the Bon-Ton, Bergner's, Boston Store, Carson's, Elder-Beerman, Herberger's and Younkers nameplates. 

The bid deadline for bankruptcy court-supervised sale process has been extended until 4 April 2018.

The 120 year-old chain store that sells apparel, accessories and jewellery, stated that it will review all the bids to determine the maximum value for the company and all of its stakeholders.

In early February, the company had filed for bankruptcy and decided to close down 42 stores. The company has a debt of $900m. Previously, the company stated that if it does not find a suitable bidder, its only option is to go for liquidation.

Bon-Ton did not mention that there are any parties that are interested in acquiring it as a going concern.

The company, in a statement, said: “There can be no assurances that discussions with these interested parties will lead to a definitive agreement being reached on any transaction.”

The company expects to carry out an auction pursuant to section 363 of the US Bankruptcy Code on 9 April 2018. A Court hearing will take place to approve a sale on 13 April 2018.

And while the bidding process is still going on, all the stores, e-commerce and mobile platforms under the company will be open and operating as usual.

Presently, the company employs about 23,000 including part-time and full-time employees. Last year, it said to have had sales of about $2.55bn.

After it filed for bankruptcy, the company witnessed losses amounting to about $27m from its operations. 

Image: Bon-Ton Store Lehigh County, Pennsylvania. Shuvaev/Wikipedia.org.