A&G was retained by Bon-Ton, a department store chain founded in 1898, to sell 22 fee-owned department store boxes, a distribution center, and an e-commerce facility primarily located in the Midwest. While marketing the assets beginning May of 2018, we were challenged with a retail environment with thousands of store closures, and numerous other department store and big-box retailers announced bankruptcies and closures. Furthermore, users were sparse, and Bon-Ton demographics were significantly inferior to other department store closings.
A&G performed an exceedingly thorough due diligence review of every asset and market, including visiting each site and meeting with local brokers, developers, and economic development agencies and their respective municipalities. In addition, we reviewed all supporting documentation and REAs, oversaw and assisted with the management of each property, and collaborated with counsel to achieve property tax relief and other cost savings. A&G also utilized the media to gain exposure for Bon-Ton’s situation. To the extent possible, each purchase agreement had seller rights to continue marketing and shorten diligence periods if additional interest was generated during a diligence period.
Prior to retaining A&G, the seller was advised by other real estate professionals to anticipate receiving between $50MM and $60MM in total value. A&G exceeded all expectations and raised nearly $90MM, with an orderly liquidation process balancing between holding out for maximum value while limiting unnecessary carry costs.