Gottschalks Inc., the 104-year-old Central Valley department store chain, is moving closer to liquidation.
Already operating in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, Gottschalks designated a team of liquidating firms as the lead bidder in a court-supervised auction set for March 30.
Others will be able to bid. But the lead bidder, also known as the "stalking horse," has the inside track.
Under procedures proposed by Gottschalks, a company would have to pay the liquidators a breakup fee of up to $995,000 if it outbids them. If this buyer is a rival liquidator, it would have to pay an additional premium of $200,000 to Gottschalks.