A local mall owner is reportedly teaming up with another mall owner to acquire Bon-Ton Stores Inc.
Mall owners Washington Prime Group Inc. and Namdar Realty Group are reportedly in talks to acquire Bon-Ton, which owns Elder-Beerman and several other department store chains, Reuters reported. Washington Prime is the owner and operator of the Mall at Fairfield Commons and the Dayton Mall.
Bon-Ton and its subsidiaries filed for bankruptcy in early February. A vendor group still has the option of buying 210 stores still open after the planned closures of nearly 50 stores this spring.
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The company extended the deadline for bids in its bankruptcy auction last week to April 4, after announcing it was in active discussions. Reuters reported the bidder is a joint effort between Namdar and Washington Prime.
Most Elder-Beerman stores are located within local malls, so possible closures would have a detrimental effect on multiple shopping centers. Elder-Beerman has stores in Piqua, Huber Heights, the Mall at Fairfield Commons in Beavercreek, the Dayton Mall, the Kettering Towne Center, among others in Ohio. The stores employ hundreds of workers.
No local Elder-Beerman stores were included in the round of closures announced earlier this year. Only one store in Ohio was impacted. However, Bon-Ton could also reduce the number of distribution centers from three to two, shutting down its facility in Fairborn.
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