July 17, 2009, 12:00 AM

Golden Gate Capital to acquire Eddie Bauer for $286 million

The private equity firm has won the bankruptcy auction of outdoors apparel and gear retailer Eddie Bauer with an all-cash bid. Golden Gate will maintain the substantial majority of Eddie Bauer’s stores and employees in a newly formed company.

Golden Gate Capital has gone outdoors for its latest purchase in the e-commerce industry. The San Francisco-based private equity firm has won the bankruptcy auction for outdoors apparel and gear retailer Eddie Bauer Holdings Inc. with an all-cash bid of $286 million.

Eddie Bauer, No. 80 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, will present the Golden Gate offer for court approval on Wednesday. The transaction is expected to close in early August.

Golden Gate says it plans to maintain the substantial majority of Eddie Bauer’s 371 stores and employees, and will honor gift cards issued by the 89-year-old retailer.

The deal is the latest in a series of e-commerce acquisitions by Golden Gate. In June, Golden Gate paid The Talbots Inc., No. 106 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, $75 million for J. Jill, a multichannel retailer of women’s apparel and shoes that sells online at JJill.com. And, last September the private equity firm purchased cataloger Crosstown Traders from Charming Shoppes, No. 103 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, for $35 million.

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