Spiegel Seeks Buyer for Newport News

In an announcement that surprised no one, Spiegel Group on Sept. 9 said it has retained investment bank Miller Buckfire Lewis Ying & Co. to find a buyer for its Newport News women’s apparel catalog. Downers Grove, IL-based Spiegel, which has been operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection since March, also owns cataloger/retailer Eddie Bauer and its eponymous general merchandise catalog.

“The decision to gauge market interest in one of the company’s assets, in this case Newport News, is a normal part of a Chapter 11 proceeding,” Bill Kosturos, Spiegel’s interim CEO/chief restructuring officer, said in a statement. “We will evaluate the level of interest, taking it into consideration as we work to develop a plan of reorganization.”

According to Stuart Erickson, principal at Miller Buckfire, no time frame has been set for the divestiture. He says that the company will be talking to a number of financial and strategic buyers.

The decision “was inevitable,” says Craig Battle, managing director of Princeton, NJ-based investment bank Tucker Alexander. “If Spiegel is to emerge from bankruptcy, the company must raise some capital” and “shrink down the focus of the business.”

In May, $1.14 billion Freeport, ME-based L.L. Bean made news by saying it was considering purchasing Eddie Bauer. But Spiegel denied that the business was for sale.

Partner Content

The Gift of Wow: Preparing your store for the holiday season - Netsuite
Being prepared for the holiday rush used to mean stocking shelves and making sure your associates were ready for the long hours. But the digital revolution has changed everything, most importantly, customer expectations. Retailers with a physical store presence should be asking themselves—what am I doing to wow the customer?
3 Critical Components to Achieving the Perfect Order - NetSuite
Explore the 3 critical components to delivering the perfect order.
Streamlining Unified Commerce Complexity - NetSuite
Explore how consolidating multiple systems through a cloud-based commerce platform provides a seamless experience for both you, and your customer.
Strategies for Maximizing Mobile Point-of-Sale Technology - NetSuite
Learn the top five innovative ways to utilize your mobile POS technology to drive customer engagement, increase sales and elevate your brand.