There are conflicting reports coming out of this week’s bankruptcy auction for RadioShack.
Depending on whose unnamed sources you believe, either Standard General won the bidding after upping its offer to $180 million, or term-lender Salus Capital Partners countered with a $270 million cash deal.
The difference between the two bids is much greater than $90 million, though.
Unlike Salus’ supposed cash offer, Standard General, the chain’s leading lender and majority shareholder, is looking to largely use forgiveness of its RadioShack loans as payment, creating a furor among creditors.
More important, the hedge fund would also make a go of the business, in a co-branding venture with Sprint.
In contrast, a win by Salus, which has reportedly joined forces with Gordon Brothers, Hilco and other liquidators, would likely mean the end of the 94-year-old retail icon.
There is no love lost between RadioShack and Salus, which had repeatedly blocked CEO Joe Magnacca’s attempts to shed unproductive stores, and not surprisingly the chain has chosen life over liquidation.
The final decision rests with a federal bankruptcy court judge in Delaware, who is expected to make the call on Thursday.
But given the fluid nature of the bidding process, all this could change in a New York minute and probably will, so stay tuned.