Sports Authority Files for Bankruptcy Protection

The Sports Authority filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Wednesday and could shut down in the coming weeks unless it finds a buyer for its business, according to people familiar with the matter.

The company, which operates about 450 stores, has agreed to take up to $595 million in bankruptcy financing from senior lenders including Bank of America, Wells Fargo, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and TPG, the people said.

As a condition of the loan, Sports Authority would close and clear out dozens of stores after filing for chapter 11, some of the people said. The company would need to close the rest of its store base by the end of April if it can't find a buyer that would put more money into the business, they added.

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