Circuit City to liquidate remaining U.S. stores

Circuit City Stores Inc., the nation’s second-biggest consumer electronics retailer, reached an agreement with liquidators on Friday to sell the merchandise in its 567 U.S. stores after failing to find a buyer or a refinancing deal.

The company, which employs more than 30,000 employees, said in court papers it has appointed Great American Group LLC, Hudson Capital Partners LLC, SB Capital Group LLC and Tiger Capital Group LLC as liquidators. The news, first reported by CNBC Friday morning, puts the employees’ jobs in jeopardy, the financial news channel said.

Calls to the Richmond, Va.-based company and the liquidators were not immediately returned to the Associated Press.

Circuit City filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November as vendors started to restrict the flow of merchandise ahead of the busy holiday shopping season.

It had been exploring strategic alternatives since May, when it opened its books to Blockbuster Inc. The Dallas-based movie-rental chain made a takeover bid of more than $1 billion with plans to create a 9,300-store chain to sell electronic gadgets and rent movies and games. Blockbuster withdrew the bid in July because of market conditions.

Circuit City, which said it had $3.4 billion in assets and $2.32 billion in liabilities as of Aug. 31, said in its initial filings that it planned to emerge from court protection in the first half of this year.

Under court protection, Circuit City has broken 150 leases at locations where it no longer operates stores. The company already closed 155 stores in the U.S. in November and December.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Huennekens had given the company permission to liquidate if a buyout was not achieved.

The retailer said Friday it does not anticipate any value will remain from the bankruptcy estate for the holders of its common equity, and added that it will provide more details soon about plans for liquidation of its stores, other assets, and the status of its Canadian operations.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28691963/

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