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U.S. women's clothing chain Loehmann's files bankruptcy again

Monday, 16 Dec 2013 | 10:45 AM ET

NEW YORK, Dec 16 (Reuters) - Loehmann's, the discount clothing chain, filed for bankruptcy protection for a third time and has hired liquidators in connection with a plan to sell assets.

With the Chapter 11 filing late Sunday night, Loehmann's was the latest clothing retailer that sell designer brands at steep discounts to succumb to competition from rival chains.

Others that have sought court protection and gone out of business in recent years included Daffy's, Filene's Basement and Syms.

According to a corporate resolution, Loehmann's board has authorized the hiring of SB Capital Group LLC, Tiger Capital Group LLC and A&G Realty Partners LLC, which have experience handling retailer liquidations, in connection with a sale of substantially all of the company's assets.

A Loehmann's spokeswoman did not immediately respond on Monday to requests for comment.

In its bankruptcy petition filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, parent Loehmann's Holdings Inc said it had between $50 million and $100 million in assets, and $100 million and $500 million in liabilities.

The Bronx, New York-based company had emerged from Chapter 11 in February 2011 primarily owned by Whippoorwill Associates Inc, a specialist in distressed debt.

That reorganization was financed by a $25 million investment from Whippoorwill and Loehmann's prior owner, Dubai World Corp affiliate Istithmar.

Loehmann's first sought bankruptcy protection in May 1999.

The company, founded in 1921 by Frieda Loehmann in Brooklyn, New York, operates 40 stores in 11 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., according to its website.

It competes with rivals such as Ross Stores Inc, Stein Mart Inc and TJX Cos Inc, which operates TJ Maxx and Marshall's.

Other failing retailers in recent years have included Borders Group Inc, Circuit City Stores Inc and Gottschalks Inc.

The Loehmann's case was assigned to U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Martin Glenn.

The case is In re: Loehmann's Holdings Inc, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, No. 13-14050.