Court Gives Spiegel Three-Month Extension

If you’re waiting to see who’ll buy bankrupt Spiegel Inc.’s last remaining property, Eddie Bauer, you’ll have to wait a little longer. Spiegel on Sept. 28 gained a three-month extension from bankruptcy court to develop its own reorganization plan.

The company, which has been operating out of Chapter 11 since March 2003, now has until Jan. 5 to convince its creditors to back its reorganization plan. Spiegel could then conceivably take until March 8 to have a plan approved by all creditors and the bankruptcy court.

“This is normal, as we’ve always asked for 90-day extensions,” says Spiegel chief financial officer Jim Brewster. “It’s a good sign, because it means the creditors committee is behind us and the company’s performance has been good. And it means we’re not looking for a fire sale for Eddie Bauer.”

Eddie Bauer, which last year accounted for $1.3 million of Spiegel’s $1.8 million in revenue, hasn’t fetched the kinds of bids Spiegel was hoping for, due to soft sales this year. Sources say bids have ranged from $650 million to $800 million, well below the more than $1 billion that Spiegel was expecting to get.

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