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May 28, 2009 6:08 PM

More 363: Cooley Helps Levi Strauss Pick Up 73 Stores

Posted by Brian Baxter

Distressed M&A has recently become all the rage, so what better place to begin than bankruptcy court for some section 363 deals.

The iconic jeans giant Levi Strauss & Co. announced on Wednesday that it would acquire the rights to 73 Levi's and Dockers outlet stores that were licensed to bankrupt Anchor Blue Retail Group.

News of the deal came the same day that Ontario, Calif.-based Anchor Blue filed for bankruptcy in Delaware.

Bankruptcy court records show that Cooley Godward Kronish bankruptcy and restructuring partner Robert Eisenbach III and senior counsel Gregg Kleiner are advising Levi on the acquisition.

Levi is a longtime client of Cooley and ties between the client and the firm are strong. Cooley chairman Stephen Neal sits on the San Francisco-based company's board of directors.

William Bowden, head of the bankruptcy and insolvency group at Delaware's Ashby & Geddes, is serving as local counsel to Levi.

Anchor Blue, which is owned by Boca Raton, Fla.-based private investment firm Sun Capital Partners, has tapped Mark Collins from Delaware's Richards, Layton & Finger as its Chapter 11 counsel. Anchor Blue has so far secured $20 million in DIP financing.

The sale to Levi will require the approval of the bankruptcy court.

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