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JACKSON, MI-Jacobson’s Stores Inc. has begun a 60-day liquidation sale of all its equipment, merchandise, credit and other items that will hopefully go to pay its creditors. The department store chain is holding the sales in the 18 remaining stores in Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Kansas and Florida.

The company has already closed 10 locations, including taking its presence out of Ohio.

Jacobson’s has until the end of September to complete the sales, says the chain’s attorney, Sheldon Toll of the Detroit-based firm Honigman, Miller, Schwartz and Cohn. He told GlobeSt.com that five companies, together as a joint venture, were successful in bidding to handle the liquidation, including Gordon Bros. of Massachusetts and SB Capital of New York. The bid is worth $70 million, Toll reports.

“The remaining stores are open for the closing sales,” Toll says. “We’re in the process of selecting bids for firms that want to buy the real estate or lease the locations.”

He says there has been considerable interest in the properties.

Hilco Real Estate of Northbrook, IL is accepting bids for the department stores, as well as the chain’s headquarters in Jackson. The store properties range from a 1-acre, 30,000-sf store in Birmingham, MI to the 60-acre, 238,000-sf headquarters facility.

About half are available for sale, while the other half are available for lease.

The deadline for the bid process is yet to be determined, says Josh Joseph of Hilco.

Jacobson’s, a regional specialty store chain, filed a Chapter 11 petition for reorganization on Jan. 15 with the US Bankruptcy Court in Detroit after a loss of more than $57 million in 2001.

The company closed five under-performing stores in Columbus, OH; Toledo, OH; Clearwater, FL; Osprey, FL and Tampa. Five other stores were closed soon after the bankruptcy was filed.

The Toledo store sold for $11.7 million. Leases for the other properties were rejected, Joseph reports.

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