Bon-Ton stores on brink of going out of business

Bon-Ton Stores Inc

Bon-Ton is a major tenant of both landlords and its survival would have helped protect the value of their malls.

Bon-Ton had been working on a deal with asset manager DW Partners and mall owners Namdar Realty and Washington Prime Group that the company said would keep most or all of its stores open.

That would mean the end for one of Milwaukee's most iconic retailers and it would put 2,255 Wisconsin employees out of work.

The only bidders at the department store chain's court-supervised auction on April 16 were liquidators, the news agency reported, quoting sources familiar with the matter.

Bon-Ton stores likely to close, central Illinois malls impacted
Bon-Ton stores likely to close, liquidate assets

On Friday, Bon-Ton filed notice that it had selected the Hilco/Gordon Brothers bid as the baseline bid for the bankruptcy auction.

A group of bondholders, led by the hedge fund Brigade Capital Management, had been calling for the retailer's dissolution, arguing that the department store chain, even if bought, "had little chance of surviving". The stores in Coralville's Coral Ridge Mall and Lindale Mall in Cedar Rapids are among seven Younkers stores that the department store's parent company, Bon Ton, Inc., told Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) it plans to close.

A group of second lien bondholders had objected to Bon-Ton's request to pay the fee. According to Reuters, the group did not submit a bid at the auction on Monday, and no other going-concern bids have been received. It has stores throughout the state including the Boston Stores at Mayfair Mall in Wauwatosa, Southridge Mall in Greendale, the Shops of Grand Avenue in downtown Milwaukee, Bayshore Town Center in Glendale, Brookfield Square Mall in Brookfield and Regency Mall in Racine.

The company's stores include Carson's, Younkers, Elder-Beerman, Bergner's, Boston Store, and Herberger's, as well as Bon-Ton.

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