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Forever 21 Bankruptcy: Retailer enters deal to sell for $81 million

Forever 21

LOS ANGELES — Forever 21 reached a deal to sell off its assets for $81 million, four months after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

As part of the deal, the struggling fast-fashion retailer would be sold to a consortium made up of mall operators Simon Property Group and Brookfield Properties and brand management firm Authentic Brands Group, according to a Sunday, Feb. 2 court filing. The sale would include all of Forever 21’s assets, including its remaining stores and its beauty line RileyRose.

The group has been designated as the “stalking horse bidder” for Forever 21 — meaning the deal remains subject to approval by a judge. Other potential buyers have until Feb. 7 to place bids for the company.

Forever 21 is among the many traditional retailers that have struggled to keep up amid the rise of online shopping, which has cut foot traffic to malls and brick-and-mortar stores. High debt levels and rent costs have also burdened traditional retailers.

In recent years, even healthy retailers have closed stores and struggling ones have filed for bankruptcy.

Forever 21 filed for bankruptcy in late September and announced a plan to overhaul its global business by closing hundreds of stores in the United States and abroad to cut down its lease costs. The ability to get out of leases and close stores at lower cost is a key advantage that the bankruptcy process affords retailers.

Forever 21 did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Authentic Brands Group also recently purchased another well-known retailer, luxury New York department store Barneys, after it filed for bankruptcy in August. The $271 million deal involved closing the retailer’s doors, according to the Wall Street Journal, and was approved in October.

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