Byline: Rich Wilner

NEW YORK — There seems to be no shortage of interest in acquiring Eddie Haggar Ltd., the troubled manufacturer of women’s moderate-price casual sportswear.
Donnkenny Apparel, here — long interested in the Dallas-based company, which has been operating in Chapter 11 since Jan. 24 — has become the first suitor to submit a bid, according to sources close to Haggar.
The size of the bid was not disclosed, but investment banker Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin, which is serving as business brokers in this case, is believed to be studying the offer.
Donnkenny refused to comment on the bid. Gerald P. Buccino, of Buccino & Associates, New York, the turnaround management firm managing Eddie Haggar, would only say that one bid has been received.
Houlihan Lokey is also believed to have in hand “four or five” additional expressions of interest in Eddie Haggar. Those companies could begin due diligence soon, looking over the books before possibly making a bid.
Buccino said Friday that Eddie Haggar was operating in fine order, meeting all projections made to the Foothill Group, which is financing the manufacturer’s operations. Last week, a Dallas bankruptcy judge approved Foothill’s permanent $15.25 million debtor-in-possession financing package.
Eddie Haggar officials and those companies expressing interest in purchasing the company have each expressed interest in not dragging out the transaction, and all are looking forward to wrapping up a deal as soon as possible, one source said.
Buccino refused to say when Eddie Haggar hoped to close its deal.
As reported, the highly leveraged business ran into trouble recently when retailers refused to accept late-shipped fall merchandise. Eddie Haggar Jr., chairman, formed the company when he purchased the women’s apparel business from Haggar Apparel Co., now know as Haggar Clothing Co.
Koret of California, San Francisco, which was named in court papers along with Donnkenny as being interested in submitting bids, has not yet made one but is believed to be weighing such a move. — Fairchild News Service

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