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
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The new owner is Bostonbased Gordon Brothers Group, which recently helped
CompUSA sell underperforming stores.
The terms of the deal were not not disclosed. Dallasbased 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 chains 103 retail stores will remain open and staffed during the holiday
season, offering discounts on computer and electronics ahead of the planned
"An orderly and expedited winddown 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 CompUSAs assets," said Roman Ross, CompUSAs 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 topperforming stores.
Fridays sale did not come as a complete surprise to industry watchers.
News reports have suggested that Slim who is among the worlds wealthiest
individuals was seeking to unload more of his interest in the company.
A spokesman for Circuit City Stores Inc. told Reuters on Friday that
representatives from CompUSA approached his company about possibly taking over
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., Circuit City, Office Depot Inc., OfficeMax Inc. and
Consolidation in the electronic retailing sector has resulted in intense
competition as large companies such a Best Buy Inc and WalMart Stores Inc.
undercut smaller rivals such as CompUSA and Circuit City.
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