By and  on July 17, 2009

The bankruptcy court auction for bankrupt Eddie Bauer Holdings Inc. started late Thursday and, at press time, was expected to continue into today.

According to sources at the auction, VF Corp., which expressed interest earlier in the week, is looking only at the intellectual property assets of Bauer. Other bidders are understood to be stalking-horse bidder CCMP Capital Advisors LLC, an affiliate of Rainier Holdings; private equity firm Golden Gate Capital; Iconix Brand Group Inc., working in tandem with an unidentified strategic retail partner, and liquidation firms Gordon Brothers and Hilco Consumer Capital, which are said to be planning a joint bid.

Bauer filed its Chapter 11 petition on June 16, and as part of its filing entered into a stalking-horse purchase agreement with CCMP for $202 million in cash, with adjustments for working capital and other considerations. CCMP is a buyout firm which once included Cabela’s, Crosstown Traders and Cornerstone Brands in its portfolio.

Today, the parties will have the chance to bid for either all of the assets as a going concern or just a portion of them. A hearing is set for July 22 to approve the buyer selected at auction.

Bauer, which saw its 2008 sales decline 1.8 percent to $971.3 million, is still considered one of the iconic names in outdoor and leisure apparel.

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