Spiegel Puts Newport News Up for Sale

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The Spiegel Group officially hung a "for sale" sign on its Newport News subsidiary yesterday as part of its restructuring process.


The Downers Grove, IL, company said it retained Miller Buckfire Lewis Ying & Co. to find a buyer. Newport News sells moderately priced women's fashions through its catalog and Web site, www.newport-news.com. Spiegel filed for bankruptcy protection March 17.


"The decision to gauge market interest in one of the company's assets, in this case Newport News, is a normal part of a Chapter 11 proceeding," Bill Kosturos, interim CEO and chief restructuring officer of The Spiegel Group, said in a statement. "We will evaluate the level of interest, taking it into consideration as we work to develop a plan of reorganization."


Though no one has expressed public interest in Newport News, Spiegel's other subsidiary already had a prospective buyer. In late April, L.L. Bean, Freeport, ME, said it was interested in purchasing Eddie Bauer, mainly for its customer list and e-commerce division.


"It's very early in the process, [and] it remains unclear how Bauer will emerge from this -- intact under current ownership, intact under new ownership or if elements of the company will be sold off in parts," L.L. Bean spokesman Rich Donaldson said at the time. "It's in our best interest to remain informed as things develop, and our response has yet to be determined."


Earlier this year, Newport News gave itself a spring makeover with a 140-page Special Fashion Edition that went after a slightly higher income recipient than its traditional catalogs.


Spiegel said interested parties should contact Stuart Erickson at Miller Buckfire Lewis at 212/895-1812.


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