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If Washington Prime buys Bon-Ton, what happens to Elder-Beerman?


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.

The Dayton Daily News breaks down what the possible bid could mean for Bon-Ton Stores:

1. What’s at stake?

A bid by Namdar and Washington Prime could save Bon-Ton from liquidation. Bon-Ton owns stores like Elder-Beerman, Boston Store, Younkers and other department stores.

2. If a bidder isn’t found, what happens to Elder-Beerman?

Reuters has reported that firms specializing in liquidation also planned to submit a $740 million offer for Bon-Ton in partnership with its bondholders, who have called from the start for the company to be liquidated. 

It wouldn’t be the only retailer to liquidate stores this year. Toys ‘R’ Us filed for bankruptcy in September 2017, and the chain started liquidating its stores in March.

» RELATED: Local mall owner reportedly looking to buy Elder-Beerman parent company

3. Why does Washington Prime and Namdar want to buy Bon-Ton?

Namdar and Washington Prime both lease significant amount of space to Bon-Ton stores. 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 and the Kettering Towne Center, among other areas in Ohio. The stores employ hundreds of workers.

4. When did Bon-Ton file for bankruptcy?

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.

5. Have Bon-Ton stores already closed some locations? 

The chain announced it would close several dozen stores earlier this year. 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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