CHICAGO (AP) -- Hartmarx Corp., maker of suits for President Barack Obama, said Friday it has signed an agreement to sell all its assets for about $85.5 million to "stalking horse" bidders Emerisque Brands U.K. Limited and SKNL North America BV.
In bankruptcy court parlance, stalking horse bidders typically make an initial offer that will only be accepted if other higher bids do not emerge. The deal will be subject to a competitive auction in bankruptcy court.
Hartmarx, which sells business attire as well as casual and golf clothes, filed for Chapter 11 protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Northern District of Illinois on Jan. 23. Its brands include Hickey-Freeman, Palm Beach, Naturalife, b.chyll and others.
Emerisque and SKNL propose paying $70.5 million in cash and $15 million in the form of a junior secured note. They also propose the assumption of certain liabilities worth about $33.5 million.
Hartmax Chief Executive Homi Patel said the deal was the "best and highest" it had received. Still, he said the suitmaker needs continued support from lenders and other stakeholders.