Bon-Ton Creditors May Propose Bankruptcy Within Weeks

by MR Magazine Staff

Senior creditors of Bon-Ton Stores Inc. are pushing the troubled retailer to file for bankruptcy, a development that could happen as soon as this month, according to people familiar with the matter. Bon-Ton, however, hasn’t made a decision and is still trying to avoid a court filing, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. If the company does enter bankruptcy, it’s not clear whether it would seek to liquidate or to reorganize, the people said. One restructuring option — which would involve an eventual bankruptcy — could include combining some parts of the retailer with another business, one of the people said. The York, Pennsylvania-based company has been coping with declining mall traffic, management upheaval and about $1.2 billion in debt. Those difficulties prompted some vendors to demand letters of credit or cash on delivery, further draining its liquidity, Bloomberg reported last year. The creditor group has retained Miller Buckfire & Co. as financial adviser and Jones Day for legal advice, the people said. Representatives for Bon-Ton, Miller Buckfire and Jones Day didn’t respond to requests for comment. Bon-Ton’s thinly traded 2021 notes slipped to 20.5 cents on the dollar at midday in New York, according to Trace data. They were quoted as low as 16.35 cents during the session, matching their all-time low. Read more at Bloomberg.