Sioux City Younkers to close, according to reports

Report Only auction bidders for Bon Ton Stores Inc. are liquidators	 	 	 			Boston Store

An auction for the company began Monday but has not concluded. Counsel for the second lien noteholders, Sidney Levinson of Jones Day, then spoke for his clients and argued that the stalking horse bid is not a qualified bid, sources add. Saks sold the chain to Bon-Ton in 2006.

Bon-Ton spokeswoman Christine Hojnacki told the Cedar Rapids Gazette the "notices are just of potential closures" and that if stores were to close, a closure date has not been set.

An attorney for Bon-Ton said at a hearing last week that the investor group that signed a letter of intent with the retailer represented "the last and only opportunity for the debtors to continue operating in business". The deal, however, included a number of contingencies and required Bon-Ton to seek court approval for the company to pay a $500,000 work fee as the parties sought to finalize a purchase agreement. The bankrupt department-store chain appears to be heading for liquidation after receiving two bids, both from liquidators, in a court-supervised bankruptcy auction on Monday.

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Money from the auction will be used to pay Bon-Ton's creditors.

The Younkers brothers opened their first store - a general store in Keokuk - in 1862.

In addition to the major mall anchors, Bon-Ton stores occupy giant boxes at local shopping plazas, including the Southgate Plaza in West Seneca, on Sheridan Drive in the Town of Tonawanda and on Transit Road in Lockport.

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A message could not be left because Kohan's voicemail box was full.

Stores operated by Bon-Ton include Bergner's, Boston Stores, Carson's, Elder-Beerman, Herberger's and Younkers, but most of its stores have histories that predate the parent company. Bon-Ton has 700 employees at its corporate offices in downtown Milwaukee.

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