Aeropostale was thrown a lifeline as a group of interested parties bid on its assets. Companies General Growth Properties, Simon Property Group and Authentic Brands Group joined together to bid $243.3 million to save 229 stores from closing, and therefore possibly saving Aeropostale from liquidation. An auction for Aeropostale's assets was supposed to be held last week, but was postponed when the retailer was pitted against one of its largest backers, Sycamore Partners. Sycamore wanted to use its debt to bid on Aeropostale’s assets, and a bankruptcy court in New York agreed, ruling the $151 million debt could be applied toward payment.
Total Retail’s Take: This unexpected bid is Aeropostale’s last chance to remain in business, even if it would survive as a smaller company. At its peak, Aeropostale operated 800 stores. Now, the two largest U.S. mall owners, Simon Property and General Growth, want to save the retailer’s best locations. Mall traffic is sluggish in general, so they're investing in keeping existing stores open rather than having to find new tenants or have vacant storefronts.