Bankruptcy court approves winning bid for Bon-Ton

Will liquidate the company, close all of its stores by Aug. 31

Bon-Ton will liquidate.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware on Wednesday approved the agreement for Los Angeles-based Great American Group, LLC and New York-based Tiger Capital Group, LLC to purchase the assets of The Bon-Ton Stores Inc.


The Great American-Tiger Capital joint venture, which submitted the winning bid for Bon-Ton in a bankruptcy auction this week, holds 8 percent of Bon-Ton’s second lien secured notes due in 2021.

According to court documents, the group agreed to a deal worth $793.6 million for Bon-Ton’s assets, including:

  • Up to $574.8 million as a cash purchase price to pay off certain financing and outstanding letters of credit.
  • A $125 million credit bid, offsetting some of the $251 million in notes held by the group.
  • $93.8 million in funding for wind-down operations.

The group will acquire the inventory and certain other assets of Bon-Ton and plans to liquidate the company, shutting down all of its operations.

In a press release, Bon-Ton said it “is committed to working constructively with the winning bidder to ensure an orderly wind-down of operations that minimizes the impact on associates, customers, vendors and the communities we serve.”

Bon-Ton has corporate headquarters in York, Pennsylvania and Milwaukee. It operates 250 stores, including the Boston Stores in southeastern Wisconsin. The Great American-Tiger Capital group will have until Aug. 31 to complete going out of business sales for the company’s stores, according to court documents that outline details of the group’s bid for the company.

In advance of the potential liquidation, Bon-Ton filed notices with state regulators regarding store closures. Those notices covered 2,255 employees in Wisconsin, including 700 at the company’s downtown Milwaukee headquarters. Nationally, Bon-ton has more than 22,000 employees.

The sale agreement allows the Great American-Tiger Capital group to determine which employees will be needed for the going out of business sale. The group will be able to pay up to $7.4 million in retention bonuses or severance pay to employees who do not voluntarily leave employment and are not otherwise eligible for severance pay. Spread across all 22,000 employees, the bonuses would amount to roughly $336 per employee, although every employee may not be retained and some are eligible for other severance payments.

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Andrew is the editor of BizTimes Milwaukee. He joined BizTimes in 2003, serving as managing editor and real estate reporter for 11 years. A University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, he is a lifelong resident of the state. He lives in Muskego with his wife, Seng, their son, Zach, and their dog, Hokey. He is an avid sports fan and is a member of the Muskego Athletic Association board of directors.

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