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Apparel retailer Express Inc's bankruptcy buyout gets court approval

(Reuters) - Phoenix Retail, a new online retailing venture, will acquire most assets of Express Inc, a court document showed, less than two months after the apparel retailer filed for bankruptcy.

Phoenix, a joint venture among equity investor WHP Global and mall owners Simon Property Group and Brookfield Properties, on Friday received approval from a bankruptcy court in Delaware to acquire most of the assets of the embattled apparel retailer out of bankruptcy.

Express did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The company has about 530 Express Retail and Express Factory Outlet stores combined in the United States and Puerto Rico, according to its website.

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Express, which also owns the Bonobos and UpWest brands, had filed for bankruptcy in April and listed assets and liabilities in the range of $1 billion to $10 billion.

It entered bankruptcy with about $189 million in funded debt and said the largest factor in its bankruptcy was the long-term decline in foot traffic at U.S. shopping malls.

(Reporting by Juveria Tabassum; Editing by Shilpi Majumdar)