Report: Sale of Eddie Bauer considered as retailer struggles with debt

The Bellevue-based retailer’s owners are looking at alternatives including seeking a buyer, Reuters reports.

The owners of Eddie Bauer, the Bellevue-based active outdoor apparel company, are reportedly exploring a sale of the company.

Seeking a buyer is among the alternatives being considered to deal with the company’s debt, according to a Reuters story citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter.

Reuters said the company has hired investment banks Guggenheim Partners and Financo to assist.

Eddie Bauer, controlled by the private equity firm Golden Gate Capital, is seeking relief from a $225 million term loan due in 2020 and a $200 million revolving credit line that comes due in 2019, according to Reuters.

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Eddie Bauer declined to comment.

In January, the company closed its downtown Seattle store in Pacific Place. Last year, the company moved its Bellevue Square flagship store from a 8,390-square-foot location to a space half that size.

The company still has six stores and five outlet locations in the Puget Sound area.

Last month Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the credit rating of Everest Holdings, the holding company for Eddie Bauer, citing its “weak credit metrics and liquidity profile” and “significantly worse than anticipated operating performance.”

The company’s revenue and gross margins have declined in the 12 months ended April 1, according to Moody’s.

The company, founded in 1920 in Seattle by outdoorsman Eddie Bauer, has struggled for years.

During the 1990s, under the ownership of Spiegel Group, the company emphasized everything from women’s casual wear to dressier professional attire to home furnishings.

After declaring bankruptcy in 2009, the company was purchased by Golden Gate Capital.

In recent years it has focused on its active-outdoors roots,…

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