A consortium composed of three liquidators has won the bidding for certain assets of the bankrupt retailer, the Sports Authority.
The consortium includes Gordon Brothers, Hilco Global and Tiger Capital Group. A bankruptcy court still has to approve the winning bid. The matter will be before the Delaware bankruptcy court on May 25, according to someone familiar with the process. The amount of the bid was unclear and the corresponding paperwork has not yet been filed with the court.
Modell’s Sporting Goods and Dick’s Sporting Goods are interested in some of the sporting goods retailer’s stores, and an auction for the store leases will be held at a later date, sources said. The debtor will also hold an auction later this month for the sale of the retailer’s name and intellectual property assets.
The sporting goods big-box retailer filed a voluntary petition for Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection on March 2. At the time of the filing, the sports chain said it had more than $1 billion in debt. The retailer said then it would shutter 140 of its stores, leaving 300 in operation. Gordon Brothers and Tiger Capital begun liquidation sales of those stores in March.
Dick’s and Modell’s were initially seen as possible buyers for all or part of the chain, although it later became clearer that their interest was likely more in terms of specific store locations.
On April 26, the sporting goods chain determined that a reorganization was no longer a feasible option.
The Sports Authority was founded in 1987 by Jack Smith, who was the former chief operating officer of Herman’s World of Sports. The big-box retailer was acquired by Kmart in 1990, and then spun off as a public company in 1995. The company merged with Gart Sports, a retailer with roots going back to 1928, in 2003. Gart merged with Sportmart in 1998, and with Oshman’s in 2001. Following the merger with Gart, the stores operating under the nameplates Gart Sports, Sportmart and Oshman’s were changed to Sports Authority. Sports Authority was acquired by private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners in January 2006 in a transaction valued at $1.4 billion. It ceased to be a public company when the deal closed.