April 15, 2009, 12:00 AM

Systemax and others will have to wait to see who will own CircuitCity.com

It’s now certain that Circuit City as an e-commerce site will live on, but the final bidders won’t know until next month who will own the bankrupt chain retailer’s web assets and brand name. A bankruptcy court judge has set an auction date of May 11.

It’s now certain that Circuit City as an e-commerce site will live on, but the final bidders won’t know until next month who will own the bankrupt chain retailer’s web assets and brand name.

On Monday, Systemax Inc., which already operates TigerDirect.com and CompUSA.com, put in a bid of $6.5 million to acquire the assets of CircuitCity.com, the Circuit City name, certain undisclosed customer information related to the web and other intellectual property.

But Systemax and other bidders, including Hilco Trading Co. Inc., a Northbrook, IL, retail industry asset evaluation and liquidation firm, will have to wait until a final auction on May 11 following a decision yesterday by a judge for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The May 11 auction will be held in the New York office of Circuit City’s bankruptcy law firm, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.

Following the auction, the final date to close any sale of Circuit City’s e-commerce assets is May 13, according to Circuit City’s latest bankruptcy filing. If Systemax, No. 22 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, fails to win its stalking horse bid for CircuitCity.com, it will be entitled to some unspecified amount of compensation, the company says. A stalking horse bid occurs when an interested buyer is chosen by a bankrupt company as the preferred acquirer of its assets; the bid closes the door on very low bids for the assets up for sale.

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