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Eddie Bauer files for bankruptcy, says most stores to remain open.

Specialty retailer Eddie Bauer filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday, but says it will continue to serve customers as it seeks court permission to sell its assets to a private equity group.

Eddie Bauer, which operates 371 stores in the U.S. and Canada, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in both countries.

The company said it had entered into an agreement to sell its assets for $202 million in cash to CCMP Capital Advisors LLC, which wants to run the company, agreeing to keep the majority of the stores open and keep most employees.

"Eddie Bauer is a good company with a great brand and a bad balance sheet. This process will allow the business to emerge with far less debt, positioned for growth as the economy recovers and as our new products gain traction," said Neil Fiske, President and chief executive of the company in a released statement.

The buyer would also support Eddie Bauers' motions to "maintain critical vendor relationships and payments" as well as honor gift cards and the company's loyalty reward program, Eddie Bauer said.

The sales process, under the 363 section of the U.S. bankruptcy code, would also allow any higher and better bidder to take control of the assets. Eddie Bauer expects to complete the process within 60 days.
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Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Jun 17, 2009
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