Aéropostale’s dark days are over.
The teen retailer has won court approval to sell its assets to Aero Opco LLC—a joint venture comprising Authentic Brands Group, General Growth Properties, Simon Property Group, Hilco Merchant Resources and Gordon Brothers Retail Partners—for $243.3 million in cash and a plan that will keep at least 229 stores open and operational on a going-forward basis.
The consortium was declared the highest bidder at an auction that concluded Sept. 1, beating offers from Sycamore Partners (one of Aéropostale’s lead lenders), Tiger Capital Group and Great American WF.
More than 400 Aéropostale locations will be subject to store closing sales, but court papers filed Sunday said the sale “not only yields the greatest possible value for the debtors’ assets, but also avoids a wholesale liquidation and preserves the going-concern value of the debtors’ businesses for the benefit of all parties in interest in these Chapter 11 cases, including the debtors’ customers, suppliers, employees, landlords, and lenders, among others.”
The transaction would also pave the way for the retailer’s exit from Chapter 11 and save at least 7,000 jobs
Aéropostale filed for bankruptcy protection in May, after years of dwindling sales. In the quarter ended Jan. 30, the company reported a net loss of $21.7 million. Aéropostale has closed 113 of its 739 U.S. stores and all 41 of its locations in Canada in the last four months.