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Brookstone files Chapter 11; seeks sale to Spencer’s

Merrimack, N.H. -- Specialty retailer Brookstone Holdings Corp. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, with a plan to sell itself to Spencer Spirit Holdings, owner of the Spencer’s retail chain, for about $147 million. The purchase price comprises $120 million in cash, $7.5 million in new notes and about $18.5 million of assumed liabilities.

Under the agreement with Spencer Spirit, Brookstone would continue to operate its stores in malls and airports, along with its catalog, website and wholesale business, under the Brookstone brand.

“The retail industry continues to evolve, and staying ahead of the curve is critical,” stated Jim Speltz, Brookstone’s president and chief executive. “A partnership with Spencer Spirit provides us the canvas upon which to sketch our next chapter.”

However, Brookstone’s acquisition by Spencer Spirit may not be a sure thing. Blucoroa, the company that owns online retailer Monoprice, is reportedly preparing an all-cash bid for Brookstone, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Brookstone, which is privately held, lost $18 million in the 13 weeks through Sept. 28, up from a loss of $12 million in the period a year earlier. In its bankruptcy filing, Brookstone estimated that it has liabilities between $100 million and $500 million and assets in the same range.

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