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W.L. Ross Tries Again: Bankrupt Burlington Accepts $608M Bid

Bankrupt Burlington Industries accepted a $608 million bid by W.L. Ross & Co. Friday, which serves as the base price for today’s court-approved auction.

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In the last year, Burlington has since cut its apparel fabrics manufacturing capacity by half. It also moved its apparel headquarters to Hong Kong, where the Burlington Worldwide division now sells apparel fabrics manufactured at Burlington’s plants in the U.S., Mexico and India, as well as fabrics made under contract by independent mills throughout Asia.

It is Burlington’s increasingly global scope that has had some financial sources believing all along that there would be interested purchasers for the bankrupt company’s assets.

When Berkshire made its bid earlier in the year for the entire company, some close to the unsecured creditors committee felt that Burlington’s parts could be worth more than its whole. That belief came to fruition in the latest Ross bid, with Lees being spun off to Mohawk as part of the deal.

What remains a question is whether other firms will step up to the plate to bid on the different parts of Burlington. Even if they do, Ross could still walk away with the prize. If the bids, assuming they are made, in the aggregate don’t represent a higher offer, then Ross will end up as majority shareholder of Burlington.
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