Gordon Brothers buys CompUSA, will close stores

Fri Dec 7, 2007 7:29pm EST

By Lisa Baertlein


LOS ANGELES, Dec 7 (Reuters) – CompUSA, the computer and gadget retailer controlled by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, has been sold to a restructuring and investment firm that will close stores and sell some company assets.

The new owner is Boston-based Gordon Brothers Group, which recently helped CompUSA sell under-performing stores.

The terms of the deal were not not disclosed.

Dallas-based CompUSA said on Friday that active discussions are underway to sell its technical services business, CompUSA TechPro, its online sales operation, CompUSA.com, and select stores in key markets.

The chain’s 103 retail stores will remain open and staffed during the holiday season, offering discounts on computer and electronics ahead of the planned store closures.

“An orderly and expedited wind-down and asset sale process is the best option for CompUSA and its creditors at this juncture,” said Bill Weinstein, a Gordon Brothers principal who will be running CompUSA as its interim president.

“We worked long and hard with Gordon Brothers Group to achieve a business solution that maximizes CompUSA’s assets,” said Roman Ross, CompUSA’s current chief executive, who will continue to serve the company in an advisory capacity.

Earlier this year, the company closed more than half of its U.S. retail stores in a bid to streamline operations and bolster margins at top-performing stores.

Friday’s sale did not come as a complete surprise to industry watchers.

News reports have suggested that Slim — who is among the world’s wealthiest individuals — was seeking to unload more of his interest in the company.

A spokesman for Circuit City Stores Inc (CC.N: Quote, Profile, Research) told Reuters on Friday that representatives from CompUSA approached his company about possibly taking over properties.

Goldman Sachs analyst Matthew Fassler said prior to the announcement of the sale that the closure of more CompUSA stores would be a positive development for rivals Best Buy Co Inc (BBY.N: Quote, Profile, Research), Circuit City , Office Depot Inc (ODP.N: Quote, Profile, Research), OfficeMax Inc (OMX.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and Staples Inc (SPLS.O: Quote, Profile, Research).

Consolidation in the electronic retailing sector has resulted in intense competition as large companies such a Best Buy Inc and Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research) undercut smaller rivals such as CompUSA and Circuit City. (Reporting by Lisa Baertlein, editing by Leslie Gevirtz and Andre Grenon)

© Reuters 2007. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.

Reuters journalists are subject to the Reuters Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.

This entry was posted in News by xmBill. Bookmark the permalink.

About xmBill

Just a computer geek that is into all kinds of things involving computers, music, water sports, electronics, and basically anything high tech. Now days the way our Government is run; politics.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s