Troubled electronics retailer RadioShack Corp (NYSE:RSH) is preparing to shut down the chain in a bankruptcy deal that would see half the stores taken over by Sprint Corp, Bloomberg News reported, citing people with knowledge of the discussions.
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The rest of the stores would close down, Bloomberg said.
Sprint and RadioShack have also had talks about co-branding the stores, Bloomberg reported, citing two anonymous sources.
Another bidder could yet emerge to buy RadioShack and continue operating the 94-year-old chain, Bloomberg said.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that Standard General, a hedge fund and the largest investor in RadioShack, was in talks to serve as the lead bidder at a bankruptcy auction.
RadioShack declined to comment on the Bloomberg report and said it had not confirmed any of the information.
Sprint declined to comment.
RadioShack warned last September it faced bankruptcy if talks with lenders and stakeholders about a sale or a restructuring failed. It was also threatened with delisting from the New York Stock Exchange last week.
The electronics retailer, once the operator of go-to shops for innovators and engineers for products ranging from vacuum tube speakers to the first mass-produced PC.
But the company has failed to transform itself into a destination for mobile phone buyers, losing out to rivals such Amazon.com Inc and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
RadioShack said in October that it would seek to convert a loan of $120 million, given by investors including Standard General and Litespeed Management LLC, into equity "in the coming months".
RadioShack shares were down 15.2 percent at $0.24.
(Reporting by Ramkumar Iyer and Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru and Malathi Nayak in San Francisco; Editing by Joyjeet Das)