Destination Maternity has $50M ‘stalking horse’ bid as auction nears

Destination Maternity Corp., which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October and announced it was seeking a sale, has named a proposed “stalking horse” bidder as part of its restructuring process, it announced Monday.

The Moorestown-based maternity clothing retailer said in a news release that New York-based Marquee Brands LLC has bid approximately $50 million for the chain as a baseline for the open auction process.

The bid includes Destination Maternity’s e-commerce businesses, intellectual property and more. Marquee Brands, owned by affiliates of investment manager Neuberger Berman, is partnering with Gordon Brothers and Hilco Merchant Resources in the process.

“We are pleased that Marquee Brands recognizes the value of our business and has made a competitive bid during our marketing and sale process,” Lisa Gavales, interim Office of the CEO and a member of the board at Destination Maternity, said in a prepared statement. “We are working to continue the sale process, including the auction, and look forward to an outcome that will maximize value for our stakeholders.”

The auction for the company’s assets is scheduled for next Monday, Dec. 9, with qualified bids due Thursday and court approval slated for Dec. 12. Destination Maternity said it expects operations to continue during the process.

“Looking ahead, we remain focused on continuing to serve our loyal customers,” Gavales said.

Destination Maternity’s brands include Motherhood Maternity and A Pea in the Pod, in addition to its namesake label. Marquee Brands’ names include Martha Stewart, Emeril Lagasse and BCBGMaxAzria.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Landis Rath & Cobb LLP are Destination Maternity’s legal co-counsel, while Greenhill & Co. LLC is its investment banker and Berkeley Research Group LLP is its restructuring adviser.

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