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Hundreds of Aéropostale Stores Saved

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Aeropostale
Aéropostale lives to see another day.

A consortium that included mall operators Simon Property Group and General Growth Properties, as well as Authentic Brands Group, Hilco Merchant Resources and Gordon Brothers Retail Partners submitted the winning bid—worth a reported $243.3 million—in a bankruptcy auction that closed Thursday.

The teen retailer, which filed for Chapter 11 in May and has since closed more than 100 of its 739 U.S. locations, looks set to emerge from bankruptcy proceedings with a streamlined store base.

A hearing regarding the transaction will be held in New York bankruptcy court on Sept. 12. Any objections to the sale need to be filed by next Thursday.

“Aéropostale looks forward to closing the sale and emerging from bankruptcy with new ownership as a financially stronger company positioned to compete and succeed in an evolving retail landscape,” the retailer told Bloomberg.

The joint-venture bid, placed earlier this week, is for all of Aéropostale’s assets and a going-forward store base of at least 229 locations. Sycamore Partners, one of the bankrupt retailer’s lead lenders and chief critics, also made an offer, which reportedly would have resulted in liquidating the entire business and the loss of 10,000 jobs.

“We are pleased with the outcome of the Aéropostale Inc. bankruptcy auction, which will result in the repayment of our debt while enabling the company to keep open more than 200 stores, preserve thousands of jobs and continue to serve customers,” a Sycamore spokesman told Bloomberg.

Aéropostale, once a Macy’s private label called Compagnie Generale Aéropostale, had 800 locations before it filed for bankruptcy protection in May, with a view to optimize its store footprint, shed or renegotiate burdensome contracts, resolve its ongoing disputes with Sycamore and achieve long-term financial stability. In the quarter ended Jan. 30, the company reported a net loss of $21.7 million.

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