Bon-Ton reportedly set to liquidate at auction

Bon-Ton reportedly set to liquidate at auction

Bon-Ton reportedly set to liquidate at auction

According to a story in The Buffalo News, the end could be close for the Bon-Ton. The news service noted that once the company selects a winning bidder and the federal court overseeing Bon-Ton's bankruptcy proceedings approves it, "the liquidator can begin selling the inventory, store leases, fixtures and intellectual property".

It appears that Bon-Ton Stores Inc., the parent company of Boston Store that has its corporate offices in Milwaukee and York, Pennsylvania, will go out of business, because the only bidders competing at the Monday start of its court-supervised bankruptcy auction were liquidators, according to sources speaking to Reuters.

One of the two bids is a joint effort from Hilco Merchant Resources and Gordon Brothers Retail Partners, which is the same group running a store liquidation for Toys R Us. But last week the judge overseeing the department store retailer's case nixed a proposal to pay the investor group a fee of $500,000 to compensate them for due diligence costs.

Bon-Ton has not yet responded to the reports.

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The group signed a letter of intent to purchase Bon-Ton at the bankruptcy auction, outlining the terms of a deal that would have kept the current management team in place and the business operating. Boston Store, for example, was founded in 1897, and Younkers in 1856. An auction took place on Monday looking for bidders.

In addition to Younkers stores at Gateway Mall in Lincoln and in Grand Island, Bon-Ton also has Herberger's locations in Hastings, Kearney, Norfolk, North Platte and Scottsbluff.

If Reuters' report proves true, it would make Bon-Ton the first department store in years to liquidate.

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