Younkers stores could shutter across Iowa as part of bankruptcy

Bon Ton owner of regional department stores like Herberger's and Younkers appears headed for liquidation. February 2018 file

Bon Ton owner of regional department stores like Herberger's and Younkers appears headed for liquidation. February 2018 file

Reuters, citing anonymous sources, reported late Monday that the only bids that came in during a bankruptcy auction Monday were from two groups that want to liquidate the company.

Bon-Ton has not yet responded to the reports.

One liquidator group estimated their initial bid was worth about $650 million, according to a creditor representative.

The bankruptcy auction for Bon-Ton's assets, which is being held at a law office in NY, will resume this morning at 8 a.m., according to the Reorg Research report.

A group of second lien bondholders had objected to Bon-Ton's request to pay the fee.

Without a buyer interested in keeping the Bon-Ton name alive, the chain is likely to go out of business.

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Bon-Ton had been working with an investor group that included USA mall owners Namdar Realty Group and Washington Prime Group Inc.to secure a bid that would have kept Bon-Ton in business as a going concern.

Once the deal is approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware, the liquidation firm can begin going-out-of-business sales.

But many storied retailers have struggled amid the current industry disruption from low-margin discounters such as Walmart Inc (WMT.N) and the increasing popularity of online shopping, dominated by Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O).

Bon-Ton filed for bankruptcy in February, and had been working with a would-be bidder - a combination of two mall owners Namdar Realty Group and Washington Prime Group - that might have kept its stores open in many of its locations.

If Bon-Ton is shuttered, it would be a major blow to its employees and to retail centers around the state.

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