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Bankrupt department store may have a bidder

Bon-Ton Stores Inc. raised hopes that it may live to see another day.

The department store retailer, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February,  said it is in “active discussions with interested parties” who may be interested in buying the company. Because of the interest, Bon-Ton has received approval from its lenders to extend the deadline for submitting qualified bids from April 2, 2018, to April 4, 2018.

“Bon-Ton will evaluate all qualified bids with the assistance of its advisors to determine which bids maximize value for the company and all of its stakeholders,” the company said in a statement. “There can be no assurances that discussions with these interested parties will lead to a definitive agreement being reached on any transaction.”

Bon-Ton, which is saddled with about $1.1 billion in debt, has been unprofitable for the past six years. It expects to conduct an auction on April 9, followed by a court hearing to approve a sale on April 13.

Bon-Ton operates 251 stores in 23 states in the Northeast, Midwest and upper Great Plains under the Bon-Ton, Bergner's, Boston Store, Carson's, Elder-Beerman, Herberger's and Younkers nameplates. All the company’s stores and e-commerce sites are open and operating as usual.
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