Hope remains that an eleventh-hour going-concern buyer will rescue bankrupt women's clothing retailer Charlotte Russe Holding Inc. during Chapter 11 sale proceedings next month, an attorney for the company told a Delaware judge on Thursday.

The optimism lingered despite company acknowledgement that a joint-venture liquidation bid remains the only current firm offer for the more-than-500-store business, which sought bankruptcy protection on Feb. 4. That offer — from a joint venture of Gordon Brothers Retail Partners and Hilco Merchant Resources — was designated as a bidder-to-beat in a "stalking horse" sale, with bidding slated to conclude March 3 and a possible auction runoff on March 5.

"Today the debtors have said there is no going concern transaction in play," said Leslie C. Heilman of Ballard Spahr LLP, counsel to landlord Bloomfield Holdings LLC and other landlords. "They’re still talking to people," but timetables for objections tightened up when a Feb. 17 deadline passed with only a liquidation offer on the table.

Laurel Roglen of Ballard Spahr is also among the attorneys on the legal team for Bloomfield Holdings LLC.

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