Circuit City to liquidate 567 U.S. stores

Circuit City Stores says it has reached an agreement with liquidators to sell the merchandise in its 567 U.S. stores after failing to find a buyer or refinancing.

The second-biggest electronics retailer in the nation says in court papers that it has appointed Great American Group, Hudson Capital Partners, SB Capital Group and Tiger Capital Group as liquidators.

Calls to the Richmond, Va.-based company and the liquidators were not immediately returned.

Circuit City filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Huennekens gave the company permission to liquidate if a buyout was not achieved.

Circuit City was due to present the results of an auction for its assets at a hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Richmond, Va., Friday. It had conducted negotiations with potential bidders to sell the company, but told the court last week it may need to liquidate if no deal was reached.

It had been exploring strategic alternatives since May, when it opened its books to Blockbuster bbi. The Dallas-based movie-rental chain made a takeover bid of more than $1 billion with plans to create a 9,300-store chain to sell electronic gadgets and rent movies and games. Blockbuster withdrew the bid in July because of market conditions.

Circuit City, which said it had $3.4 billion in assets and $2.32 billion in liabilities as of Aug. 31, said in its initial filings that it planned to emerge from court protection in the first half this year.

Under court protection, Circuit City has broken 150 leases at locations where it no longer operates stores. The company already closed 155 stores in the U.S. in November and December.