Circuit City brand name, trademarks, Web site bought at auction; price undisclosed

Circuit City brand, Web site sold at auction

RICHMOND, Va. — Bankrupt Circuit City’s brand, trademarks and e-commerce business have been sold at auction to Systemax Inc., the same company that purchased electronics retailer CompUSA’s intellectual property when it closed in 2008.

A spokeswoman for Streambank LLC, the intellectual property consulting firm hired by Circuit City Stores Inc., said the assets were sold at auction Monday to New York-based Systemax. Terms of the deal were not available.

A federal bankruptcy judge in Richmond must approve the sale at a hearing Wednesday.

Richmond-based Circuit City entered a so-called stalking horse agreement with Systemax for $6.5 million last month. A stalking horse bid is an initial offer for a bankrupt company’s assets.

The agreement also includes two and a half years of payments to Circuit City of a portion of Systemax’s revenue from the Circuit City Web site.

Systemax manufactures and sells consumer electronics online, by direct mail and in retail stores under the TigerDirect and CompUSA brands. When it bought Dallas-based CompUSA’s intellectual property in January 2008 from restructuring firm Gordon Brothers Group LLC, it also acquired some stores.

Systemax has previously said it believes the transaction would “further extend its position as a leader in online retailing of value-priced, branded consumer electronics.”

Circuit City closed its 567 remaining U.S. stores on March 8. It has laid off about 34,000 workers since filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November. A small staff remains at the corporate office.

The company, which posted losses in seven of its final eight quarters, sought bankruptcy protection as it faced heightened competition, pressure from vendors and waning consumer spending.

It had hoped to emerge this summer as a stronger and more competitive company, but the hobbled credit market and consumer spending cuts proved insurmountable.


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