Gordon Bros Named “Stalking Horse” for Finlay Enterprises

(Reuters) – Jewelry retailer Finlay Enterprises Inc (FNLY.OB) filed for Chapter 11 protection in a Manhattan court late on Wednesday and said it would sell its assets in an auction supervised by the bankruptcy court.

In a statement, Finlay said Gordon Brothers Retail Partners LLC would act as the stalking horse bidder at the auction.

A “stalking horse” makes the lead bid at a bankruptcy auction and creates a floor for the bidding, in exchange for certain protections that often include break-up fees.

The company listed assets and debt in the range of $500 million to $1 billion in its Chapter 11 filing.

New York-based Finlay was founded in 1887 as a mail order jeweler. It currently sells jewelry at about 77 department store locations and also operates about 106 stand-alone jewelry stores doing business as Bailey Banks & Biddle, Carlyle & Co Jewelers LLC, and L.Congress Inc.

The case is In re: Finlay Enterprises Inc, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan), No.09-14873. (Reporting by Santosh Nadgir in Bangalore; Editing by Valerie Lee)