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Investor group signals intent to acquire Bon-Ton Stores

Investor group signals intent to acquire Bon-Ton Stores”

From there, it would serve as the "stalking-horse bidder" in the auction of Bon-Ton's assets, meaning other potential buyers can submit competing bids but their offers can't be less than the amount identified in the definitive agreement.

The investor group includes USA mall owners Namdar Realty Group and Washington Prime Group Inc, for whom Bon-Ton is a significant tenant, and credit-focused fund manager DW Partners.

Two mall owners and a financial firm are teaming up in an offer to buy Bon-Ton Stores, the parent company of Younkers, Boston Store, Carson's and other department store chains.

Bon-Ton Department Stores, now in Chapter 11, announced on April 9 it has received a signed letter of intent from a group of investors, including two leading mall operators, to buy "all of the assets" of the beleaguered department store chain.

A group of investors is angling to pluck The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. from bankruptcy. Bon-Ton has not had a profitable year since 2010. A hearing to approve the sale is expected to take place in the later part of the month.

However, the filings say there is "no intent at this time to replace existing members of the executive management team".

The four Bon-Ton sites that were the subject of the most recent WARN notices are in addition to 47 stores nationwide that Bon-Ton in January announced would be closing.

If this deal with the investor group does not get done, there is a break-up fee of $3.8 million, plus reimbursement of up to $1.5 million for expenses in connection with the proposed deal. In a February filing, the group of second lien bondholders said that Bon-Ton's "survival is, at best, uncertain and in reality, unlikely".

But the potential sale is not clear-cut because of objections by numerous debt holders.

DW Partners: Based in New York City, the company manages capital for institutional investors. The company's portfolio contains 15 million square feet of commercial real estate including a number of retail strip centers and medical office buildings, its website noted.

The company has reported that it has received a letter of intent from an investment group that it seeks to acquire company.

To move forward, Bon-Ton is seeking court approval to pay the investor group led by Namdar and Washington Prime a deposit of $500,000, which would be used to pay the group's third-party counsel and consulting fees and expenses.



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