Some Gordmans department stores bought by rival chain

Markets Associated Press

Another department store operator has won the chance to buy about half of Gordmans' more than 100 stores out of bankruptcy.

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Stage Stores Inc. said Thursday that it was the winning bidder for Gordmans' assets, and it plans to buy and run at least 50 stores and one of Gordmans' distribution centers.

The rest of Omaha, Nebraska-based Gordmans' assets will be liquidated by Tiger Capital Group and Great American Group.

It wasn't immediately clear how many of Gordmans' more than 5,000 employees will keep their jobs in the deal. Houston-based Stage Stores already operates roughly 800 stores under several brands.

Stage CEO Michael Glazer said buying the most-profitable Gordmans locations across 22 states in the Midwest makes sense for his company.

"We believe the Gordmans business model offers great potential and, without the burden of a high level of debt, unprofitable locations and an oversized infrastructure, we expect the Gordmans business will be accretive to our earnings," Glazer said in a statement.

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Private equity firm Sun Capital Partners bought Gordmans in 2008 and then took it public in 2010. Sun Capital still owned nearly half of the company when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The company began operations with a single store in Omaha in 1915. Previously, it operated stores under the Richman Gordman and Half Price Stores names before rebranding all of its stores Gordmans by 2000.