Gottschalks Retains UBS for Review

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NEW YORK — Gottschalks Inc. has retained UBS Investment Bank to aid its recently appointed special committee in its exploration of strategic alternatives for the company.

The Fresno, Calif.-based department store said on Nov. 3 that it had formed a special committee of its board, including Joe Levy, chairman, and Jim Famalette, president and chief executive officer, to explore options ranging from joint ventures and alternative business models to a possible sale or merger.

Gottschalks continues to work with Financo Inc. as its financial advisor.

The firm said it has set no timetable for the special committee’s work and that it did not intend to disclose developments until the committee’s work had resulted in a transaction.

The regional retailer operates 61 department stores and five specialty apparel stores in six states in the western US. It bought the bankrupt Lamonts Apparel stores based in Washington state in 2000 but, citing poor performance, has recently sold or closed most of the units acquired.

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