Friday, June 5, 2009

Men's Wearhouse buys troubled Filene's Basement

After more than 9 hours of intense bidding, Men's Wearhouse salvaged Filene's Basement tonight from bankruptcy, paying more than $60 million for the 100-year-old chain, according to a Basement official with knowlege of the deal.

The Texas men's suit chain, which plans to keep about 20 of the Basement's 25 shops, including the flagship in Downtown Crossing,
toppled rival Syms and a New York retail real estate firm in the bidding war.

"The Filene's Basement brand will remain," said the Basement official.

The fierce interest in Filene's Basement, famed for its Running of the Brides event, is unusual for a retail industry which has been plagued by numerous liquidations in recent months. Filene's Basement officials say the brand's strong reputation and offprice strategy made it an attractive opportunity.

The winning bid, which must be approved on Wednesday by a bankruptcy court judge, is nearly three times the opening offer of $22 million from Crown Acquisitions. Last month, New York retail real estate firm Crown Acquisitions, in a joint bid with the Chetrit Group, made a "stalking horse" bid to buy 17 of the Basement's 25 shops.

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