Bon-Ton in discussions with going-concern bidder

Company plans to conduct bankruptcy auction on April 9

Bon-Ton
Bon-Ton will liquidate.

The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. on Friday announced that it is in active discussions with “interested parties” involved in a going-concern bid to acquire the company in a bankruptcy court-supervised sale process.

As a result of these discussions, the company says it sought and received approval from its lenders to extend the deadline for submitting qualified bids from April 2 to April 4.

Bon-Ton

Bon-Ton said it will evaluate all qualified bids with the assistance of its advisors to determine which bids maximize value for the company and all of its stakeholders.

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

The company said it expects to conduct an auction under the U.S. bankruptcy code on April 9, after which a court hearing would take place on April 13 to approve a sale.

The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., the parent company of Boston Store, has dual headquarters in Milwaukee and York, Pennsylvania. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February. Its stores, e-commerce and mobile platforms under the Bon-Ton, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s and Younkers nameplates are open and operating as usual.

Bon-Ton, which has 22,745 employees, recently announced plans to close 47 stores this year, including nine stores in Wisconsin. The only store in the Milwaukee area that is slated to close is the Boston Store clearance store on South 27th Street in Milwaukee.

The company reported having $1.74 billion in debts and $1.59 billion in assets as of Oct. 28. It also reported millions in outstanding trade debts to suppliers, and has not had a profitable year since 2010. The company’s creditors include Estee Lauder, which is owed $5 million; Hanesbrands, $3.6 million; Keurig Green Mountain Inc., $3.6 million; Michael Kors USA Inc., $2.8 million; Perry Ellis, $2.4 million; Ralph Lauren, $2.2 million; and the city of Milwaukee, which is owed $1.9 million.

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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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