- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 15, 2009

RICHMOND | Circuit City Stores Inc. hopes to sell its brand, trademarks and e-commerce business to Systemax Inc., the same company that purchased electronics retailer CompUSA's intellectual property when it closed in 2008.

Richmond-based Circuit City, also a shuttered electronics retailer, has entered a so-called stalking-horse agreement with Systemax for $6.5 million, according to bankruptcy court filings. A stalking-horse bid is an initial offer for a bankrupt company's assets from an interested buyer chosen by the company.

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

Port Washington, N.Y.-based 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 Comp USA's intellectual property in January 2008 from restructuring firm Gordon Brothers Group LLC, it also acquired some stores.

Systemax thinks the transaction would “further extend its position as a leader in online retailing of value-priced, branded consumer electronics,” the company said in a statement.

Other companies will have an opportunity to bid on Circuit City's intellectual property after a federal bankruptcy judge on Tuesday set a May 11 auction and a sale hearing for May 13.

Court filings show about 40 interested parties looked into buying the assets.

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.

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