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SEATTLE — Eddie Bauer Holdings, Inc., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Wednesday. The company entered into an asset purchase agreement with an affiliate of private equity firm CCMP Capital Advisors to buy the company’s assets in bankruptcy for $202 million. CCMP plans to keep the majority of Eddie Bauer’s stores open and retain most employees. The sale is subject to bankruptcy court approval, and is expected to transpire within 60 days unless a higher bidder comes along. Eddie Bauer currently operates 371 stores in the U.S. and Canada. CCMP has a history of retail investing; the company’s investments have included Quizno’s, Guitar Center and Cabela’s. A statement by Neil Fiske, president and CEO of Eddie Bauer, blamed the bankruptcy on the debt burden on the company left over from the bankruptcy of Spiegel and the prolonged recession which has not been kind to many apparel retailers. Fiske, who ran Bath and Body Works for 4 years prior to joining Eddie Bauer in 2007, also discusses many turnaround plans that the company is enacting.

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