In a deal valued at $614 million, Eddie Bauer will be bought by Golden Gate Capital Partners and affiliates of Sun Capital Partners. Repayments of $328 million in debt and $286 million in cash are included in the acquisition, which is expected to be completed in the 1st quarter of 2007. Sun Capital has other investments in clothing brands like Anchor Blue and Dim. Current investments for Golden Gate Partners include Spiegel, Newport News and Norm Thompson, which like Eddie Bauer were all part of the American holdings of Michael Otto, who also owns Otto Versand and other mail order catalog operations in Europe. The acquisition does not come as a surprise as Bauer has been exploring strategic options since last Spring, after the company reported last May an operating loss of $16 million in its 1st quarter.

In Eddie Bauer’s 3rd quarter ended Sept. 30, the net loss was a staggering $134,142,000, as compared to a loss of $10,243,000 in the year-ago quarter. The company was hit with charges of more than $117.5 million for impairment of intangible assets. Revenues slid by 3 percent to $211.3 million. Sales were in line with expectations, but they have been improving this Fall.