Judge approves Express rescue package led by mall owners

(Source: Express/Facebook)

Multi-brand fashion retailer Express has received approval to sell its business to a group that includes mall landlords, following the company’s Chapter 11 filing in April.

Judge Karen Owens has authorized the $160 million sale of the company to a consortium led by WHP Global, with participants including mall owners Simon Property Group and Brookfield Properties, Bloomberg reported.

Express announced in late April it received the non-binding letter of intent from the group of bidders for a “substantial majority” of the company’s retail stores and operations.

To facilitate the sale process, the company and its subsidiaries filed voluntary Chapter 11 petitions in the US Bankruptcy Court. 

Under Chapter 11, a company reorganizes while devising a plan to pay off its debts, while under Chapter 7, a company closes and sells off assets to pay creditors.

Express said it would continue to serve customers in stores and online across its Express, Bonobos and UpWest brands. The firm also announced the closures of approximately 95 Express retail stores and all UpWest stores.

CEO Stewart Glendinning said the company was taking steps to strengthen its financial position and that the proposed transaction would offer additional resources to better position it for profitable growth.

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