Eddie Bauer Holdings may seek bankruptcy protection as soon as this week, people knowledgeable with the situation told Bloomberg News. According to the report, Hilco Consumer Capital has expressed interest in acquiring the outdoor retailer. CCMP Capital Advisors, a private equity firm based in New York, may
also make an offer. Eddie Bauer is reportedly being advised by Peter J.
Solomon Co.

Eddie Bauer, which opened its first sporting-goods store in Seattle in 1920, had annual losses the past three years. It operates about 370 stores in the U.S. and Canada.

No final decision has been made about a bankruptcy filing, sources told Bloomberg News. The Wall Street Journal, citing sources familiar with the situation, said a sale of unspecified assets is being explored as another option.

Eddie Bauer had $187.9 million in long-term borrowings and $2.62 million in cash in the quarter ended April 4, according to a company filing. The company reported a loss of $44.5 million in the first quarter on sales of about $180 million.

Eddie Bauer emerged from bankruptcy in 2005, two years after parent Spiegel filed for bankruptcy protection.