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Potential buyer for Bon-Ton steps forward just before bankruptcy proceedings begin

YORK — Bon-Ton Stores received a potential respite from bankruptcy Monday, as a potential buyer has stepped forward with a letter of intent for an asset purchase agreement, the company said in a press release.

As a result, a bankruptcy auction originally scheduled for today has been extended to next Monday, April 16, Bon-Ton says.

The department store chain, headquartered in both York County and Wisconsin, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February.

The investor group that signed the letter is made up of DW Partners, Namdar Realty Group and Washington Prime Group, according to the press release.

“We are pleased to have received this signed letter of intent and are advancing our discussions with the investor group to complete an asset purchase agreement as we proceed toward the court-supervised auction,” Bon-Ton President and CEO Bill Tracy said in the press release. “With the help of our advisors, we will evaluate all qualified bids and are committed to maximizing value and pursuing the best path forward for the Company and our stakeholders.

“As always, we remain focused on serving our loyal customers with quality merchandise and an exceptional shopping experience in our stores and across e-commerce and mobile platforms.”

DW Partners is an alternative asset manager focusing on investment in credit markets, Bon-Ton’s press release says. Namdar Realty Group is a private commercial real estate investment and management firm, while Washington Prime Group is a retail real estate investment trust.

Bon-Ton is continuing to operate normally as the company completes its court-supervised restructuring process, the press release says. Stores remain open. The company is hopeful that the sale process will preserve jobs.