RadioShack Bidder Ups Offer: Report

Reduces portion to be paid with canceled loans
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Standard General has sweetened the pot in its bid for 1,743 RadioShack stores.

New York — Standard General has sweetened the pot in its bid for 1,743 RadioShack stores.

The hedge fund, which is the chain’s largest shareholder, lead lender and sole bidder in a bankruptcy auction here this week, has reportedly increased its offer from $145.5 million to a base bid of $160 million, sources told the Wall Street Journal.

The higher bid was funded by new “arrangements” with Sprint and AT&T, the unnamed sources said.

Perhaps more significantly, Standard General has reduced the amount that would be paid for in loan forgiveness — a sticking point with creditors — from about $130 million to $112 million, the Journal reported.

With just the one offer on the table, which would keep the retailer in business, RadioShack’s only other option is to liquidate its remaining assets. Waiting in the wings is a group that includes fire-sale specialists Hilco Capital and Gordon Brothers, the sources said, although their proposed bid came in $24 million below the total value of Standard General’s deal, which was pegged at $180 million.

Other auction participants could conceivably up the liquidators’ ante (see update, here).

A final decision on the sale is expected to be made tomorrow by a federal bankruptcy court judge in Delaware.

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