Bankrupt Sports Authority has reached a settlement with its vendors, pending bankruptcy court approval.
The proposed settlement was filed with the Delaware bankruptcy court on Friday, and gives the vendors 60 percent of the proceeds from the sales. The big box retailer filed suit against 161 of its vendors earlier this month, alleging that the sales agreements between retailer and vendor were consignments, but only under certain conditions. The key was who gets the proceeds from the sale of goods at the retailers’ stores. The retailer filed its lawsuits after vendors sought to have the goods returned, stating that it needed the merchandise on its shelves at its began liquidation sales at 140 of its stores.
Stephen Binkley, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer at the retailer, said in a court filing that the prepetition inventory included activewear and outerwear, seasonal accessories, golf apparel and select footwear, socks, insoles and accessories. He told the court that the merchandise is estimated to generate a maximum of $85 million in sales, if sold at full price. Binkley told the court that the retailer needs the merchandise because it is facing “continuing shortfalls in their inventory.”
In seeking court approval of the settlement, Binkley said the compromise provides the vendors “assurances they need to resume deliveries to the debtors of the fresh inventory that is essential to the debtors’ go-forward enterprise and the sale or reorganization of the debtors’ business.”
Delaware Bankruptcy Court Judge Mary Walrath is expected to make her decision at a court hearing on Tuesday.
Over the next few weeks, the current timeline calls for stalking horse bids for the remaining 300 stores by April 8, with the auction bid deadline by April 20 and the auction to be held on April 22. There is a separate deadline of April 28 for bids on the leases of the stores that are closing.
Sports Authority filed its voluntary petition for Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection on March 2. Dick’s Sporting Goods, a key competitor of Sports Authority, is widely believed by analysts to be interested in putting in a bid for the bankruptcy chain.