NEW YORK--Federated Department Stores' bid to buy Woodward & Lothrop is likely to stick, but there are still two weeks left for other retailers to top the $561 million offer. So far, no other bids have been received, a W&L spokesman said Wednesday. Any party hoping to outbid Federated must come up with an offer at least $30 million higher. Court papers indicate W&L will accept higher or better bids for all or some of its 26 stores through July 21. However, the company believes that the offer from a group led by Federated will be approved by bankruptcy court at an Aug. 8 hearing. W&L asked for the early deadline to allow the Federated group enough time to ready the stores for the Christmas season. The company also said the longer it operates its stores in Chapter 11, the longer it would post operating losses. Federated, Strawbridge & Clothier, Boscov's and The Rubin Organization, a real estate company, agreed on June 21 to buy 26 department stores from W&L. The group will pay $285 million for the W&L properties, plus $125 million for W&L's accounts receivable and $151 million for inventory, according to court papers. W&L will reap another $77 million from the liquidation of assets not purchased by the group. W&L's creditors are expected to receive $351 million in value from the deal, with unsecured creditors scheduled to receive a payout of between 35 cents and 40 cents on the dollar.
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