Outerwear retailer Eddie Bauer Holdings has completed its previously announced sale to private equity firm Golden Gate Capital for US$286m in cash.

The company said it will benefit from "a much stronger balance sheet, little or no long-term debt and a substantially lower cost structure".

It plans to maintain the substantial majority of its stores and employees, a statement added.

Neil Fiske, president and CEO of Eddie Bauer, said: "We are delighted to have Golden Gate Capital as our partner in building Eddie Bauer as a great American brand. Golden Gate has a proven track record and knows our industry well."

The deal was first announced last month, when Golden Gate trumped other potential buyers at a bankruptcy auction.