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Sharper Image auction bid OKd

May 31, 2008|From Bloomberg News

Sharper Image Corp., the 31-year-old retailer that filed for bankruptcy protection in February, won permission to sell all its assets to liquidators for as much as $50.5 million.

A U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., on Friday approved results of an auction won Thursday by a joint venture between affiliates of Hilco Merchant Resources and Gordon Bros. Group.

The buyer "will start liquidation sales tomorrow," Harvey Miller, a lawyer for Sharper Image, said in court.

Sharper Image filed for bankruptcy protection with plans to shut about half of its 184 stores and reorganize. The San Francisco-based company said it had lost more than $135 million since early 2005.

Miller told the court that none of the offers at the auction exceeded the $51.2-million bid submitted previously by Hilco and Gordon Bros. Bidding opened at $42.5 million and one company jousted with the buyout group until its bid reached $49 million and the other suitor dropped out.

The final offer can be increased by $1 million if Hilco and Gordon get the company's e-mail list and by an additional $500,000 if the company wins other legal rulings.

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