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ARI buys 50 Below assets despite Dominion’s higher bid

A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge on Wednesday approved the sale of 50 Below’s retail assets to ARI, which beat out Dominion Enterprises, despite Dominion’s higher bid.

ARI bid $5 million for 50 Below’s assets, pledging to keep a majority of 50 Below’s 225 jobs in Duluth and move its powersports division to Minnesota, according to the Duluth News-Tribune. Other ARI divisions will stay in their current locations.

Dominion Enterprises bid $5,150,000 on 50 Below, but its bid was turned down by the bankruptcy trustee because the trustee believed Dominion would eventually shut down 50 Below’s Duluth offices. Lori Stacy, senior vice president of Dominion’s business solutions, said her company planed to leave 50 Below as it is for six months before integrating 50 Below’s assets into the rest of Dominion.

San Diego-based Emerald Connect purchased 50 Below’s financial services division for $3.5 million, and those accounts will leave Duluth. Both sales are expected to close in two weeks.

If ARI fails to close on its $5 million deal, the trustee will award the sale to Dominion, according to a court filing.

The sale of 50 Below’s assets come just two months after 50 Below filed for bankruptcy because the company owes $12 million to 20 creditors, including the IRS, the Minnesota Department of Revenue and the Minnesota Unemployment Insurance Program.

To read the full Duluth News-Tribune story, click here.

5 comments

  1. 1) Glad the courts found a buyer for 50 Below.
    2) Sorry creditors may still not get paid. (I'm one of them).
    3) With $5M purchase price - dealer websites will have to go up in price; the math just doesn't seem to work for me.

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  2. I am sure the court appointed trustee made the right choice after doing her due diligence on both companies! Those with the deeper pockets do not always have the brightest minds behind them!

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  3. Looks like greed didn't win (Finally). This was as good of an outcome for the people of Deluth and current employee's of 50 Below as was possible. They, luckily, will not know the bullet they just dodged by missing the acquisition freight train known as Dominion.

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    Inchon Reply:

    Believe me, we have dodged a couple bullets. I don't think any of us wanted to go to Dominion. Today was the best day at work at 50 I think I have ever had.

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  4. Truth told, few of the 225 jobs reside in the powersports portion of the company. It is something of an educated guess, but the powersports division of 50 Below employs 25-35 people with a number of additional shared resources.

    I wish the best to those people that the acquisitions displace, especially those on the losing end of the creditor list.

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