June 16, 2009

Filene’s chooses Syms Corp. bid of $62.4M

New Jersey discount retailer Syms Corp. submitted the winning bid for bankrupt clothing chain Filene's Basement with a $62.4 million offer, the company said.

Syms Corp. beat out a bid by Men's Wearhouse, The Boston Globe reported Tuesday. But, it took two tries to do so.

Men's Wearhouse and New York retail real estate firm Crown Acquisitions won a bidding auction for Filene's on June 5, but the process was re-opened after losing bidders complained about the process.

In an appropriately structured transaction, it might be possible to save the venerable Filene's Basement name from disappearing, save over 1,500 jobs, and save many retail locations from going dark while continuing the Filene's traditions and offering consumers another choice and a bargain in the process, Syms' Chief Executive Officer Marcy Syms said in a court filing after losing the first bidding war.

Syms' purchase includes Filene's 22 outlets, its warehouses, headquarters, inventory and the company name. The bid will be submitted to U.S. bankruptcy court for approval.

We are very pleased with the outcome. The chain continues. Employees will keep the vast majority of the jobs, said Terry Corrigan of Abacus Advisors, the company managing Filene's effort to restructure itself.