Sam Ben-Avraham’s last-minute — and underfunded — push to buy Barneys New York ultimately came up short on Thursday as the company and the unsecured creditors committee decided to forego a planned auction on Monday.
That sets the bankrupt retailer up to be sold to Jamie Salter’s Authentic Brands Group, which plans to liquidate its inventory while potentially installing shop in shops in Saks Fifth Avenue and keeping some stores open.
But — as has been the case all along in the bankruptcy — hope springs eternal. Ben-Avraham is still working to improve his bid in order to try to submit it before the Oct. 31 hearing that will ultimately decide Barneys’ fate. One source said it was still premature to “count anybody out.”
A representative for the retailer said: “Barneys is continuing to work towards a value-maximizing going concern transaction, including in relation to a potential transaction led by Sam Ben- Avraham and his group of financial, operational, and strategic partners, up to and including the October 31 sale hearing.”
In bankruptcy, companies have a duty to maximize value by selecting the highest or best bid. Ben-Avraham’s initial bid, although it came in below ABG’s $271 million offer, envisioned keeping Barneys open as
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