Updated! Wilmington, Del. – Standard General has received the go-head from a federal bankruptcy court here to buy RadioShack’s 1,740 remaining stores, Reuters reported.
The nod ends four days of bickering following last week’s bankruptcy auction, and clears the way for the hedge fund to operate the stores in a co-branding partnership with Sprint.
It also thwarts a counter-plan by term-lender Salus Capital Partners to liquidate the chain and pay off creditors.
Standard General’s pre-packaged bankruptcy deal was seen as RadioShack’s last chance to continue as a going concern, although it leaves unsecured creditors with little of the estimated $500 million they’re owed.
Under the newly approved plan, the retailer’s new corporate parent will roughly split the store leases with Sprint, and both partners would will work together on store design, format, signage, fixtures and a carrier-dominant logo.
RadioShack had hoped to close the sale before April 1 to avoid paying another month’s rent.
Still in play are the company’s intellectual property, including its trademark, private-label brands, e-commerce platform and domain names, plus a patent portfolio and its franchised dealer arrangements. Salus, owed $150 million, has first claim on the intellectual property, and is in active talks with other potential buyers, the Wall Street Journal reported.
In approving the sale, Judge Brendan Shannon said Standard General offered more money than other bidders (about $160 million, mostly in loan forgiveness), and was the sole contender to provide the “added and terribly important benefit of saving more than 7,000 jobs and preserving a century-old American retailing icon,” the Journal noted.