Liquidators In Lead for Fortunoff

Update: NY Times is reporting that Hilco and Gordon Bros. have withdrawn their bid.

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Liquidators Hilco Merchant Resources LLC and Gordon Brothers Retail Partners were named as the lead bidder in a bankruptcy auction on Monday for U.S. luxury retailer Fortunoff Holdings LLC, according to a person with knowledge of the auction.

The company, which sells jewelry, dinnerware and furniture in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut, filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this month.

A lead bidder, or so called “stalking horse,” is typically named in bankruptcy auctions to create a floor for the bidding.

A second group of liquidators, Great American Group, Hudson Capital, SB Capital and Tiger Capital, have submitted a competing offer to run the company’s going-out-of business sales, said the source, who asked to remain anonymous.

The auction was taking place on Monday evening, the source said.

Fortunoff is owned by NRDC Equity Partners, a private equity firm that bought the retailer out of an earlier bankruptcy last year. (Reporting by Emily Chasan)