Friedman’s Appeals for Store Closings

After an auction whose results it was “not satisfied” with, Friedman’s Jewelers has now informed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court it wants to close most of its stores.

Friedman’s, currently operating in Chapter 11, is also in negotiations to sell 78 of its stores to WFC Acquisition Corp.

An attorney involved in the case said that WFC is an affiliate of Whitehall Jewelers.

Court papers say that, after it was “not satisfied” with the results of a March 6 auction, Friedman’s entered negotiations with the high bidder.

However, those negotiations did not produce a “satisfactory” agreement, and the negotiations were terminated March 25, with the exception of the current talks with WFC.

The papers continue that Friedman’s is determined that the “best way to maximize the value of their remaining assets … is to close their stores over the next several months.”

Friedman’s request will be ruled on in a court hearing April 4.

The attorney expected the motion to be approved, but noted “it’s always possible someone might come in at the last minute and said he’d like to bid.”

When it filed for Chapter 11, Friedman’s operated 388 stores in 19 states, and employed 2,890 people. Its subsidiary Crescent operates 85 stores in three states, and has more than 600 employees.

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