Pangea Wins Bid for Newport News

Manufacturer/fulfillment company Pangea Holdings on May 11 emerged with the winning bid for bankrupt multititle mailer Spiegel Inc.’s women’s apparel catalog division Newport News.

Pangea Holdings, which in April had placed a $25 million “stalking horse” bid in a bankruptcy court auction, won the auction by outbidding the only other bidder–Newport News Acquisitions–with a $28.6 million offer. Pangea is run by Hinsdale, IL-based Christian Feuer, formerly Spiegel Catalog’s vice president of marketing and advertising production, and two other partners based in China. No details on the people or companies behind Newport News Acquisitions were made public.

“It’s encouraging to see that there was additional interest” in the Newport News bidding, says Debbie Koopman, spokesperson for the Downers Grove, IL-based Spiegel. She says that the formal filing of the bankruptcy court’s acceptance of Pangea’s bid will take place at the end of this week, with a targeted closing date of the end of May. Though the sale isn’t finalized, Koopman notes that “this part of the procedure is complete, and we expect to have a smooth transition.”

The Newport News acquisition will be Pangea’s second this year. In late February, the company bought Florence, MA-based Motherwear, a catalog of apparel and accessories for expecting and nursing mothers.

As for Spiegel, which has been operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection since March 2003, the company received an extension on its period of exclusivity for filing a reorganization plan from May 10 to Sept. 7. Although Spiegel is actively trying to sell its other two properties—the Spiegel catalog and the Eddie Bauer catalog and retail chain—the company still needs to file the plan to lay out how it intends to settle creditors’ claims against it.

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