Judge considering approval of sale of Bon-Ton websites, trademarks to Indiana firm

CSC Generation would purchase IP assets for $900,000

A bankruptcy court judge is considering approval of the proposed the sale of The Bon-Ton Stores Inc.’s intellectual property assets to Merillville, Indiana-based CSC Generation Holdings Inc. for $900,000.

On July 31, the court and IP disposition firm Hilco Streambank held an auction for Milwaukee- and York, Pennsylvania-based The Bon-Ton Stores’ intellectual property assets, including its websites, according to a court filing Thursday.

CSC Generation Holdings won the bidding, with L’Oreal USA Inc. being awarded just the data for beauty, cosmetics, skin care, hair care and fragrance customers. The judge in the case is now considering approval of those sales.

CSC is a technology company that owns e-commerce sites DirectBuy, Killion, leaseco and DirectBuy Leasing. It describes itself as “a decentralized, multi-brand technology platform that is saving companies from Amazon.”

The Bon-Ton intellectual property assets CSC would own include: all registered trademarks, all domain names and domain name registrations, all customer data and databases (includes 24.5 million unique customer records, the StyleRewards and LoveStyleRewards programs, material operations and management analysis reports, private label brands IP, Google Analytics account, product catalog, social media accounts, and gift card and merchandise card data.

CSC indicates in the filing that it plans to continue operating Bon-Ton under its existing name and other brands, both online at several of its websites, and at some brick-and-mortar stores “selling many of the same categories of goods.”

In its filing with the court, L’Oreal indicates that because of the Bon-Ton department store closures, its Lancome customers in particular will be unable to access those products and it would like to keep in touch with them.

The bankrupt Bon-Ton, which is the parent company of Boston Store, Herberger’s, Younker’s and several other department store brands nationwide, shuttered all of its stores last week.

A joint venture among Los Angeles-based Great American Group, New York-based Tiger Capital Group and a group of Bon-Ton debtholders bought The Bon-Ton Stores out of bankruptcy in April, and then began to liquidate the company.

Bon-Ton filed for bankruptcy in February. The company’s management sought to find a buyer that would continue operating the business. A group of mall owners and a private equity firm signed a letter of intent to potentially buy the business and keep it afloat, but a bankruptcy judge denied the payment of a work fee to help the deal move forward. The buyer group opposed the payment of the fee, arguing the bid procedures and case law didn’t allow for it.

After the deal fell through, the only remaining bidders were proposing to liquidate the company and the Great American/Tiger group won out. According to court documents, the group agreed to a deal worth $793.6 million for Bon-Ton’s assets.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the sale of the IP assets had been approved. A proposed order approving the transactions was included in the court filing Sept. 6, but still needs the final OK from the judge, according to a spokesman for CSC Generation Holdings.

Sign up for BizTimes Daily Alerts

Stay up-to-date on the people, companies and issues that impact business in Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin

No posts to display