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$35M bid for NH-based Brookstone would keep some stores open

By MICHAEL COUSINEAU
New Hampshire Union Leader

August 28. 2018 9:34AM
Brookstone, based at 1 Innovation Way in Merrimack. (Kimberly Houghton/Union Leader correspondent)



MERRIMACK — Brookstone has a potential buyer whose plan may include keeping some retail locations open.

The Merrimack-based company Monday announced that Authentic Brands Group had submitted a proposal to acquire the company’s brand assets during a Sept. 24 auction.

“The proposal includes an expressed interest in identifying a partner to maintain and maximize Brookstone’s iconic retail business,” according to Brookstone’s statement.

Founded in 1965, Brookstone earlier this month filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy and had begun the process to close the company’s remaining 101 mall locations. Brookstone products are for sale at 34 airport retail locations, online and through select premium retailers worldwide.

A $35 million bid by ABG, a brand development, marketing and entertainment company, will serve as a baseline bid for the auction. Brookstone said it expects the auction “to be competitive, as it continues to receive serious interest from a number of potential buyers that recognize value across the business.”

ABG owns, manages, and elevates the long-term value of a portfolio of global brands, according to Brookstone’s announcement.

“We are pleased that Authentic Brands Group recognizes the core value of our business and has made an offer for the Brookstone brand,” said Brookstone CEO Piau Phang Foo. “For now, we are focused on continuing to serve our loyal customers through our airport, e-commerce and wholesale businesses. “Brookstone is a beloved, valuable brand, and we are confident that this process will maximize value for all of our stakeholders.”

Meanwhile, a hearing is set for Wednesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware over a group of creditors, including mall owners Simon Property Group, challenging how money would be spent to help keep the company running.

The debtors-in-possession lenders “seek to drive a process that monetizes their collateral quickly and without regard to junior creditors, and to obtain substantial fees and other benefits that far outweigh the utility of their nominal funding,” the creditors committee wrote in court papers.

Those lenders “should not be permitted to run these cases entirely for their benefit and on the backs of unpaid landlords and vendors,” the committee wrote.


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