Bon-Ton Stores going out of business after liquidators win bid

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Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. has been sold to liquidators, meaning its hundreds of stores across the United States will be going out of business.

The company has not released a timeline of the closure of the Bergner's stores, including the one in Bloomington's Eastland Mall which has been open since 1973.

The Bon-Ton stores at the Phillipsburg, Trexler and Stroud malls were already slated to close. In South Dakota, this affects three Herberger's (Rapid City, Aberdeen and Watertown) and a Younkers store in Sioux Falls.

According to the Reuters news agency, sources familiar with the matter said that liquidation firms Great American Group and Tiger Capital Group won the auction with a $775.5 million bid.

Greg Jenkins, president of the Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the Younkers store, at 1903 Park Ave., joined the Chamber's membership in 2006 and has remained one of the few major retailers in the mall. The Bon-Ton name was drawn from a British term connoting the "elite" or "high society".

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Once the asset sale is approved by the court, Bon-Ton's stores are expected to close within the next 10 to 12 weeks.

In a company news release, Bon-Ton said a joint venture composed of the holders of the company's second lien secured notes due 2021 will acquire the inventory and certain assets.

Bon-Ton has been in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection since early February. We continue to offer a broad assortment of national and private brand fashion apparel and accessories for women, men and children, as well as cosmetics and home furnishings, just as we always have. Boston store, Carson's, Herberger's, Yourkerss and Elder Beerman.

The chain also operated stores under the banners of Bergner's. For the full list of the store closures, please visit the Company's investor relations website. It continued operation as it entered the bankruptcy process, though it did announce the closing of 42 stores at that time.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP is acting as the Company's legal counsel, AlixPartners LLP is serving as restructuring advisor and PJT Partners, Inc.is acting as financial advisor.

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