Minnetonka, Minn. — A federal bankruptcy court here Thursday approved the acquisition of the assets of Polaroid by a joint venture led by Gordon Brothers Brands (GBB) and Hilco Consumer Capital, which includes private equity fund Knight's Bridge Capital Partners and other institutional investors.
After multiple rounds of bidding over the company, Judge Gregory Kishel ruled the liquidator partners made the highest and best offer at $87.6 million. The creditors, which will keep 25 percent of the business, reportedly preferred the group’s bid due to its history of operating other brands like Polaroid.
Losing bidder Patriarch Partners reportedly offered $88.1 million and may appeal the decision. Polaroid’s 70 remaining employees had rallied behind Patriarch in hopes of keeping their jobs.
The assets involved in the acquisition include the Polaroid brand, intellectual property, inventory and other assets. The company currently uses the brand for Chinese-made consumer electronics, including digital cameras and LCD TVs, and other products.
The joint venture partners also recently acquired assets of The Sharper Image, Linens 'N Things and Bombay brands.
Polaroid entered Chapter 11 in December after parent, Minneapolis-based Petters Group Worldwide, was exposed for allegedly running a $3 billion Ponzi scheme.
The winning bidders said they plan to develop “a full-scale global licensing and marketing strategy for wholesale, direct-to-retail and e-commerce businesses to leverage Polaroid's innovative and pioneering heritage.”
The firm said the Polaroid brand “offers limitless potential to embark on additional product opportunities, ranging from consumer electronics to commercial imaging.”
The joint venture said in a statement that it intends to partner with global institutions in the ongoing development of the Polaroid brand.