Troubled retailer Spiegel Group Inc, operator of the Eddie Bauer stores and Spiegel and Newport News catalogues, on Friday said it has settled a settled a civil lawsuit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The Illinois-based company was sued by US securities regulators who accused it of failing to make public in 2002 its auditor's concerns about the firm's future.

The suit alleged Spiegel had failed to reveal an opinion from its independent auditor that Spiegel might not be able to continue as a "going concern". The SEC said the court will determine compensation and civil penalty matters at a later date.

"As part of the settlement, the company neither admitted nor denied the allegations of the SEC's complaint," Spiegel said in a statement, before adding "it is "cooperating fully with the ongoing SEC investigation".

Earlier this month, the company said its CEO Martin Zaepfel had retired and would be replaced in the interim by turnaround expert William Kosturos who would also serve as chief restructuring officer. It also named James Brewster as senior vice president and CFO.