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Vann’s Files Chapter 11

Missoula, Mont. – Vann’s has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

As reported here last week, the 51-year-old CE/majap chain will continue to operate its five remaining stores and e-commerce site, CEO Jerry McConnell told TWICE. It closed three locations over the past year.

The company, led until June by longtime CEO George Manlove, is also selling off Big Sky Country, an outdoor apparel and sporting goods e-tail site, and will decide the fate of its mall-based On Store CE boutique by year’s end.

According to documents filed yesterday in a U.S. bankruptcy court in Butte, Mont., Vann’s is seeking the use of cash collateral and a debtor in possession financing facility, or revolving DIP loan, of $2 million from its lender First Interstate Bank, here, to keep the business afloat.

Company revenue this year through Aug. 5 was $45.4 million. It reported revenue of $100.8 million in 2011 and just less than $93 million in 2010.

Vann’s has $17.6 million in assets — including $12.5 million in inventory and $1.5 million in vendor rebates and customer payables — and $14.4 million in creditor claims, court filings show.

Top secured creditors and their claim amounts include GE’s merchandise financing arm ($4.8 million) and First Interstate Bank ($4.2 million).

Top unsecured creditors and their claim amounts include: Klipsch ($600,673); UPS ($221,360); Warrantech ($178,431); D&H Distributing ($159,466); Onkyo ($137,106); Denon ($133,001); Definitive Technology ($111,084); and Yamaha ($105,696).

The filing also disclosed several third-party seller and services agreements with, unilateral price policy agreements with Panasonic and Samsung, and a MAP policy agreement with Sharp.

Founded here in 1961 by Pete Vann, the Progressive Retailer Organization (PRO Group) dealer helped pioneer authorized online CE sales in the late 1990s and remains the largest independent CE/majap retailer in Montana.