R’Shack Bankruptcy Imminent: Report

Chain would proceed from a vastly reduced store base
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RadioShack may file for bankruptcy protection as early as this morning, in a deal that would divide its stores between Sprint and top shareholder Standard General.

Fort Worth, Texas — RadioShack may file for bankruptcy protection as early as this morning, in a deal that would divide its stores between Sprint and top shareholder Standard General.

According to Bloomberg, the parties are close to finalizing an agreement under which upward of 2,000 store leases would be sold to the wireless carrier and Standard General, the chain’s lead investor, and the remaining 2,200 locations could be closed.

Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure confirmed during an earnings call this morning that the carrier plans to add 500 stores this year to help gain new subscribers, but declined to comment on whether they would be RadioShack locations. Sprint was the chain’s first, and for a time, exclusive cellular service in the 1990s.

The bankruptcy deal reportedly calls for the Standard General-led group of hedge funds and other investors that bailed out RadioShack last fall to refinance the balance of its loan and provide the chain with additional cash to operate in bankruptcy, sources told Bloomberg.

Other bidders, possibly including Amazon.com and Brookstone, may also assume some leases, the news service reported. – Additional reporting by Joseph Palenchar

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