Gordmans stores attract 2 bidders in bankruptcy court
Mar. 21, 2017
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The Gordmans bankruptcy has attracted two bidders who want to keep at least some of the company's 106 discount department stores operating.
The Omaha, Nebraska-based company, filed for bankruptcy protection last week and announced plans to liquidate its inventory after posting losses in five of its last six quarters.
Former Gordmans CEO Jeff Gordman is leading one of the groups interested in the company's assets. Gordman left the company in 2013 after clashing with the Sun Capital private equity firm that owns half the company.
The other potential bidder is Houston-based Stage Stores that operates roughly 800 stores under several different brands.
But any sale of Gordmans' assets will have to be approved by the bankruptcy court, so it's not clear if the bidders will prevail.
Bankruptcy Judge Thomas Saladino said at a hearing Monday that finding a buyer to continue operating the stores would be the best outcome for employees. But any bids will have to be deemed fair to Gordmans' creditors who are owed $131 million.
Jeff Gordman, whose great-grandfather founded the company, said he is trying to line up financing for his bid.
"I love this company," Gordman said. "I am doing it for the most important stakeholders, the employees that are the heart and soul."
State Stores said in court documents that it is considering a bid for a substantial number of Gordmans stores across 22 states.
But Gordmans said in its initial Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing that dozens of potential buyers had already looked at the company's assets in recent months and no deals were made.
Gordmans employed more than 5,000 people at its stores across the Midwest before the bankruptcy. The stores continue operating but Gordmans plans to liquidate inventory.