Younkers owner postpones auction as it negotiates sale

April 10, 2018

The owner of Younkers has received a letter of intent to buy the company.

The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., which filed for bankruptcy in February, made headlines last week after it filed a required notice with several states, including South Dakota, that it planned to close stores in June.

An auction of Bon-Ton assets had been scheduled for April 9, but the company postponed it to April 16 as executives work with an investor group to finalize a purchase agreement, according to a news release issued Monday.

The investor group, which includes DW Partners, Namdar Realty Group and Washington Prime Group, seeks to acquire Bon-Ton as a “going concern in a bankruptcy court-supervised sale process.”

“We are pleased to have received this signed letter of intent and are advancing our discussions with the investor group to complete an asset purchase agreement as we proceed toward the court-supervised auction,” Bill Tracy, president and CEO, said in the news release. “With the help of our advisors, we will evaluate all qualified bids and are committed to maximizing value and pursuing the best path forward for the company and our stakeholders.”

DW Partners is an alternative asset manager, Namdar Realty Group owns and operates more than 30 million square feet of commercial real estate in the U.S., and Washington Prime Group owns more than 100 shopping centers.

Last week, Bon-Ton filed a notice with South Dakota that it planned to lay off 158 workers at Younkers in The Empire Mall if it could not find a buyer. In South Dakota, the company also owns Herberger’s stores in Aberdeen, Rapid City and Watertown.

The company has said it hopes to find a buyer and preserve jobs.

One group of creditors that wants to see Bon-Ton’s assets liquidated, however, is objecting to the delays. Second Lien Noteholders and two liquidation companies have made a joint bid to buy Bon-Ton, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The newspaper also reported that Bon-Ton acknowledged in court documents that it had received several bids for part or all of its assets that would lead to a liquidation of its assets.

Younkers statement: ‘We hope jobs will be preserved’

Younkers owner postpones auction as it negotiates sale

The owner of Younkers has received a letter of intent to buy the company.

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