Mall owners among group bidding $81 million for Forever 21

Consumer Confidence

FILE - In this Jan. 22, 2020, file photo a store front is closed below an Express retail clothing store in Valley West Mall in West Des Moines, Iowa. On Tuesday, Jan. 28, the Conference Board reports on U.S. consumer confidence for January. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

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A consortium of buyers, including mall owners Simon Property Group, Brookfield Property Partners, are bidding $81 million for Forever 21, the ubiquitous mall staple that filed for bankruptcy protection in September.

Simon and Brookfield are Forever 21's biggest landlords. The other bidder is Authentic Brands Group, which has acquired the licensing rights to other troubled retailers like Barneys New York.

Forever 21, based in Los Angeles, is a privately held company founded by the Chang family. It joined a rapidly growing list of retailers that have fallen victim to rapidly changing shopping behaviors and preferences among teens who have increasingly turned away from malls in favor of online brands, or thrift stores.

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Other interested parties have until Feb. 7 to provide a higher offer. If a higher bid is accepted, there's a breakup fee of $4.6 million.

The approval for the sale will face a judge on Feb. 11.

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