Ruling may have sealed Boston Store’s fate

Despite a signed letter of intent to acquire Bon-Ton Stores Inc., a bankruptcy judge’s ruling yesterday may end all hope for the beleaguered parent of Boston Store, Younkers, Herberger’s, and others. The investor group — DW Partners, Namdar Realty Group (including its partner Mason Asset Management), and Washington Prime Group — signed the letter of intent April 9.

However, according to a Milwaukee Business Journal report, Bankruptcy Court Judge Mary Walrath denied Bon-Ton’s request to provide the investment group a $500,000 work fee, which the group planned to use to conduct due diligence prior to an auction scheduled for April 16. It is unclear if the investors will move forward without the fee.

Bon-Ton filed for bankruptcy in February, and received only four bids, including the aforementioned investment group’s. The remaining three bids support “winding down” the business. The Milwaukee and York, Pennsylvania-based company operates more than 200 department stores around the country. If all remaining Wisconsin stores are shuttered, including two in Madison, one in Janesville, and its Milwaukee headquarters, over 2,200 people would lose their jobs. Stay tuned!