Boscov’s Sale Hearing Delayed, Family Waits for Loans

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A court hearing to approve the sale of bankrupt department store chain Boscov’s was delayed for a fourth time on Thursday as the company’s founding family worked to finalize loans with lenders for the deal.

The company, which filed for bankruptcy protection in August, said on Nov. 4 that it had signed an agreement to sell its assets to a family group led by Albert Boscov and Edwin Lakin, terminating a previously announced deal with Versa Capital Management Inc.

“We believe we are very close to completing this deal,” Brad Erens, a lawyer representing Boscov’s, said at a court hearing in Delaware on Thursday.

Erens said the sale hearing could be more efficient if all of those details were worked out in advance.

“It was contemplated the purchaser would have in hand the full financial lender agreements. We are very close to finalizing those commitment letters,” Erens told Judge Kevin Gross in court on Thursday.

Boscov’s has rescheduled its sale hearing for Tuesday, Nov. 18.

The company had originally planned to have its sale approved to Versa on Oct. 21, but delayed the hearing several times to address the new bid.

Both bidders offered the company a cash consideration of $11 million and the assumption of certain liabilities. Boscov’s said in court papers that Versa had been seeking to delay the closing of the sale until January, which could have meant a lower purchase price.

Versa, a Philadelphia-based private equity firm, has filed a limited objection to the sale, saying it should be paid a $4 million break-up fee.

Albert Boscov is the uncle of Boscov’s chief executive, Ken Lakin, and was previously the chairman and chief executive of the chain. Edwin Lakin is Ken Lakin’s father.

Boscov’s, founded in 1911, operates department stores in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Virginia. (Reporting by Emily Chasan, editing by Matthew Lewis)