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Ultimate Liquidation Underway

2/13/2011 07:38:13 PM Eastern

Thornton, Colo. - Ultimate
Electronics began going-out-of-business sales this past weekend after a federal
bankruptcy court approved the motion on Friday.

The liquidation of
inventory, valued at $86.5 million, is being administered by Gordon Brothers
Retail Partners and Hilco Merchant Resources, which plan to conclude the sale
and shutter the chain's 46 stores by April 15.

The Colorado company, founded
in 1968 by Bill and Barbara Pearse, had 65 stores in 14 states at its peak in
2004. The chain was led in its final six years by investor Mark Wattles, who
used the proceeds from his sale of Hollywood Video to buy a controlling
interest in the business, and later re-purchased it in a bankruptcy auction.

The company expanded into
new, non-contiguous markets in the Northeast and Northwest in 2010, but filed
for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last month after business soured, bills
went unpaid and vendors cut their credit lines.

The retailer quickly
moved to Chapter 7 bankruptcy after it failed to secure debtor-in-possession financing
and was cut off from its cash collateral to fund operations.