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Bed Bath & Beyond ends auction for Buy Buy Baby stores

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By Dietrich Knauth

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Bankrupt retailer Bed Bath & Beyond has ended its efforts to find a buyer for its entire Buy Buy Baby business, and it will instead seek U.S. court approval for a more limited sale of Buy Buy Baby’s intellectual property assets.

Bed Bath & Beyond had declared Dream On Me as lead bidder for the brand’s intellectual property on June 29, but had continued to seek buyers who would take over the entire Buy Buy Baby business. But no bidder offered a higher or better bid than Dream on Me’s proposal, so Bed Bath & Beyond canceled an auction that had been scheduled for Friday, according to a notice filed Thursday night in New Jersey bankruptcy court.

Dream on Me Industries, a New Jersey-based baby products retailer, has agreed to pay $15.5 million in cash for the Buy Buy Baby intellectual property, including the company’s brand name, sales data, websites and mobile apps, according to court documents.

Bed Bath & Beyond will seek approval of the Buy Buy Baby IP sale at a July 11 court hearing.

The once-prominent retailer pursued a similar strategy for its own intellectual property, selling its name, customer data, and online assets to Overstock.com for $21.5 million.

Overstock will rebrand itself as an online-only version of Bed Bath & Beyond without acquiring any of the bankrupt retailers stores or inventory.

Dream on Me and Bed Bath & Beyond did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.

Once a storied retailer, Bed Bath & Beyond filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April after struggling for years with dwindling sales and a failed merchandising strategy.

(Reporting by Dietrich Knauth, Editing by Alexia Garamfalvi and David Gregorio)

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