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Eddie Bauer to explore options including sale – sources

Debt-laden Eddie Bauer has hired investment banks to explore strategic alternatives, including a possible sale, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.

The US outdoor specialist retailer has hired Guggenheim Partners and Financo to explore its options, the people said. They said the company is not currently pursuing a debt restructuring, although it is seeking relief from a $225m term loan due in 2020 and $200m revolving credit line due in 2019.

The sources asked not to be identified because the deliberations are confidential. Golden Gate Capital declined to comment, while Eddie Bauer, Guggenheim and Financo did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Eddie Bauer, which operates around 370 stores in US and Canada, was acquired out of bankruptcy by buyout firm Golden Gate Capital in 2009 with a cash bid of $286m.

It has since been an acquisition target. In 2014, menswear retail giant Jos A Bank planned to acquire Eddie Bauer for $825m but ended when Men’s Wearhouse succeeded in acquiring its sector rival.

Eddie Bauer, who opened a flagship store on New York’s Fifth Avenue two years’ ago in an attempted turnaround, plans to launch a celebrity stylist-designed line in the autumn.

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