Mervyn’s Asks Judge To OK Sale of Remaining Leases

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Bankrupt department store chain Mervyn’s Holdings LLC has asked a court to approve the sale of all its remaining property leases, saying the transaction would be the best way to reap more value from its assets as it liquidates, according to court documents.

Mervyn’s, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on July 29, has already gotten court approval to sell 26 of its leases but has now asked the court to approve the sale of its remaining leases, according to court documents filed Friday with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

Hayward, California-based Mervyn’s has hired Hilco Real Estate LLC to sell the leases, and the auction is scheduled for Dec. 10 in New York.

The company said it believes “that it is critical to start the sales process immediately to avoid depreciation of value in the leases given current economic conditions and give Hilco and (Mervyn’s) adequate time to fully market the leases,” according to court documents.

Judge Kevin Gross is scheduled to hear the request on Nov. 25.

At the time of its filing, Mervyn’s operated 177 stores and employed more than 18,000 people. After its bankruptcy filing, the company was unable to find a way to reorganize as a going concern as the retail and credit markets tumbled, and it said it would instead close all retail stores and liquidate its assets.

(Reporting by Chelsea Emery, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)