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Syms Corp. (SYMSQ), the bankrupt discount clothing chain, and its Filene’s Basement LLC unit won court approval to sell a Miami property for $4.35 million.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin J. Carey at a hearing today in Wilmington, Delaware, gave the company permission to sell the assets to Florida-based Independent Living Systems LLC, the initial bidder for the property.
The sale was at “fair market value and was the highest and best offer,” Jason M. Liberi, a lawyer for Syms, told Carey. The sale is “essential” to the retailer’s reorganization effort, he added.
No other offers surfaced to compete with Independent Living, Liberi said in court. Independent Living will get 3.6 acres (1.5 hectares) in Miami with more than 5,000 square feet (465 square meters) of building space. The sale is expected to close during the week of Aug. 27.
The company shut down operations and sold its remaining inventory after seeking bankruptcy protection Nov. 2. Syms and Filene’s crafted a restructuring plan to reorganize around Syms’ real estate assets, valued at about $147 million, which they would then manage, lease and sell over the coming years, according to court documents.
The company listed assets (SYMS) of $236 million, including $97.7 million in real estate inventories, and liabilities of $94 million, according to court papers.
Syms, based in Secaucus, New Jersey, was founded by Sy Syms in 1958. The company bought Filene’s Basement in a bankruptcy auction for about $64.4 million in June 2009. They had 25 Syms stores and 21 Filene’s Basement locations.
Filene’s, famous for the “Running of the Brides” wedding gown sale, was founded by Edward Filene in 1909, when he opened up his Boston basement to clear out merchandise from his family’s department store, eventually leading other retailers to bring their unsold goods to him, according to the store’s website.
The lead case is In re Filene’s Basement LLC, 11-13511, U.S Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).
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