Acquisitions: Out of Bankruptcy with a Bang

Out of Bankruptcy with a Bang

Only three years ago, Wickes Cos., a diversified Los Angeles-based retailer, was nearly broke. Last week the revived firm was suddenly a big spender. Wickes, which emerged from 33 months of bankruptcy-law proceedings in January, agreed to pay $1 billion in cash for the consumer- and industrial-products groups of Gulf & Western Industries. Included in the sale are the units that manufacture Burlington hosiery, Simmons mattresses and some clothing that is licensed to carry the Calvin Klein and Liz Claiborne designer labels. The acquisition will nearly double Wickes' annual sales, to about $6 billion.

The company's comeback is the work of...

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