Today’s Bankruptcy Auction Will Decide RadioShack’s Fate

On Monday, Radio Shack will forever cease to be the retailer it once was, and will turn into something different as the result of a bankruptcy auction. Exactly what will emerge from the ashes depends on the bidders bellying up to bid on the chain’s remains.

The noon auction will see companies facing off over RadioShack’s future, with one major bidder that wants to save 1,723 of RadioShack’s stores and continue running them in a joint effort with Sprint, and others that would be more likely to strip the company for parts and sell it off, bit by bit.

Standard General — the company that swooped in and tried to save RadioShack last year with an influx of money — is RadioShack’s only hope of keeping stores open, notes the Wall Street Journal.

On the other side there are the proverbial vultures/liquidators on the scene, who have already contributed to liquidating half of RadioShack’s 4,000 stores. They are also likely to show up today according to a RadioShack lawyer.

If Standard General gets its way, it’ll run the 1,723 stores as co-branded outlets with Sprint.

“We really believe that there is a viable strong core retail business when we partner with Sprint to take care of the mobility portion,” Standard General partner David Glazek said.

While Standard General says that a win on its part will mean keeping 9,000 people employed, just because it wants to keep RadioShack open doesn’t mean it’ll necessarily win — if it means liquidating will produce more cash for creditors, things could go that way.

A major part of Standard General’s plan relies on it being able to use debt RadioShack owes it as currency in the deal, as it’s warned that if it’s not allowed to “credit-bid,” there might be no deal for RadioShack. Whether or not it can use credit to bid won’t be decided today, as it won’t be until the auction is over and the company is declared a winner in court.

Standard General was at first pegged to offer an estimated $200 million for RadioShack, but as of last week, that number had fallen to $145.5 million.

“We’ve gone from selling a Bentley to selling a Ford to selling a used Vespa,” a lawyer for RadioShack lender Cerberus Capital Management said then.

RadioShack’s Future to Be Decided at Bankruptcy Auction [Wall Street Journal]

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