Bankruptcy Court Approves Eddie Bauer-Golden Gate Deal

Eddie Bauer Holdings received U.S. Bankruptcy Court approval to proceed with the sale of its business to Golden Gate Capital for $286 million in cash on July 22.

The outdoor apparel catalog/retailer said it expects the transaction to close in early August.

Eddie Bauer Holdings said Golden Gate plans to still run the company as a multichannel retailer with “an extensive store fleet,” according to a company statement. Eddie Bauer Holdings has 370 retail locations and more than 10,000 employees.

When Eddie Bauer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last month in Delaware, company officials indicated they planned to sell most of its assets to private-equity firm CCMP Capital Advisors for $202 million.

Bellevue, WA-based Eddie Bauer has been struggling for years due to a heavy debt load from its former parent Spiegel and the recession. The company did $971.3 million in total sales for fiscal 2008, down from $989.4 million in 2007.

That slump continued into 2009: Eddie Bauer Holdings’ total sales for the first quarter, which ended Apr. 4, decreased 15.6%, to $179.8 million, down from $213.2 million. Direct sales for the quarter fell 10.7%, to $56.9 million.

Eddie Bauer Holdings did $274.2 million in direct sales in 2008, and finished No. 71 in the 2008 Multichannel Merchant 100. Its direct sales for 2007 were $277.9 million.

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