Report: Eddie Bauer Looks for a Buyer

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Eddie Bauer

With debt weighing heavily on its shoulders, Eddie Bauer is said to be exploring its strategic alternatives.

The outdoor apparel brand is looking for a buyer and exploring other options, sources have told Reuters. Eddie Bauer has hired Guggenheim Partners LLC and Financo LLC.

Eddie Bauer reportedly has a $225 million term loan due in 2020 and $200 million revolving credit line that’s due in 2019. Unlike retailers like J.Crew and Neiman Marcus that are currently in similar straits, the company is not looking to restructure its debt at this point.

In addition to the the range of ills currently plaguing the apparel retail sector, Eddie Bauer, which has been around for more than 95 years, has been attempting to pivot its business to recapture some of it’s outdoor credibility. From focusing on women’s apparel, the company is now concentrating on offering everyday wear with performance feature for the whole family.

The retailer’s CEO Mike Egeck told Fortune in November that performance-based goods have been growing 15 percent a year for the last four years.

The debt the retailer acquired after Golden Gate Capital purchased it out of bankruptcy in 2009 has hampered the company’s efforts.

Moody’s Investors Services and Standard & Poor’s have downgraded Eddie Bauer recently based on the company’s revenue declines and low gross margins, calling its liquidity level and credit metrics “unsustainable.”

Eddie Bauer, which reportedly does roughly 40 percent of its business online, operates 370 stores in the U.S. and Canada.


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