Reuters reported Tuesday that money raised from the auction will be used to repay what is owed to Bon-Ton's creditors.
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.
As of late Monday, the auction had not concluded, according to four sources who spoke to Reuters. However, that deal fell through after a federal judge barred Bon-Ton from paying the investor group a $500,000 fee as compensation for due diligence costs. It has been looking for a buyer, but also making contingency lay-off plans in case it is forced to shut down.
Bon-Ton, a bankrupt chain of 200 regional department stores with almost 20,000 employees, had been working with USA mall owners Namdar Realty Group and Washington Prime Group, Inc.to secure a bid that would have kept open a large portion of Bon-Ton locations.
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The liquidation bids come after a group of investors last week tried to buy the company and keep it operating.
Bon-Ton, founded in 1898, operates 260 stores in 24 states and had been hoping to sell to USA mall owners Namdar Realty Group and Washington Prime Group to secure a bid that would have kept many of its locations open, Reuters reported.
Company-wide, Bon-Ton employs more than 20,000 people across 24 states where it operates Bergner's, Boston Store, Carson's, Elder-Beerman, Herberger's in addition to the Younkers' brand. Both of the interested bidders are liquidators.