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Express' Landlords Zero In On $160M Acquisition Of Distressed Tenant

Two landlords of Express Inc. stores, Simon Property Group and Brookfield Properties, are getting closer to acquiring their troubled tenant and keeping the brand alive after a Delaware bankruptcy judge said bidding for the retailer could move forward. 


The mall owners have paired up with the private equity-backed brand licensing firm WHP Global to acquire the retailer, as well as its UpWest and Bonobos brands, Retail Dive reported

Express filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April, revealing plans to shutter more than 100 of its 500 Express stores and all 12 of its UpWest locations.

The group's initial bid on the bankrupt company's assets includes about $160M in cash and $38M of assumed liabilities, according to Retail Dive. If another group makes a higher bid by June 11, an auction is set for June 12, the outlet reported.

Simon CEO David Simon told analysts last month that the company wouldn't need to put up any capital to invest in Express, Retail Dive reported. 

When Express filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, it said in filings that its assets and liabilities ranged from $1B to $10B and that its top five creditors are collectively owed roughly $70M.

Simon and Brookfield have worked together on similar deals, snagging JCPenney during its Chapter 11 process in 2020.