BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Brown & Cole here said it has agreed to sell a majority stake in the company to a California investment firm, which will enable it to emerge from bankruptcy by the end of the year. The investment company is Hancock Park Associates, Los Angeles, which has agreed to purchase controlling interest in the 20-store operation for $43 million, the company said. The purchase agreement must be approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Seattle, which will hear Brown & Cole’s plan of reorganization at a hearing scheduled for early December. The sale would enable Brown & Cole to retain current management, with no layoffs or store closures; all union contracts in place; and the promise of a significant capital investment for store improvements, the company said.
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