Missoula attorney Dick Samson is working with the bankruptcy court as a panel trustee, as two different firms are involved in negotiations on whether to purchase Vann's Incorporated.

Vann's entered into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection several months ago, and was granted the month of October to come up with a buyer suitable to satisfy the company's creditors.

Samson says he is hopeful that one of the interested parties will see the company as a good investment, so that over 150 people in 5 stores throughout the state will be able to keep their jobs. If not, in a worst-case scenario, the company would have to liquidate its inventory and close its doors.

Vann's has been in business since 1961, when Pete Vann founded the company in Missoula, and eventually opened stores in 4 other Montana cities, and an internet-based store.

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