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Three Liquidators Now Own Sports Authority’s Inventory

The Sports Authority is presently being dismantled and doled out to the highest bidders. The first takers? A group of liquidators that now owns the athletic gear retailer’s inventory.

At an auction Tuesday, Tiger Capital Group, Hilco Global and Gordon Brothers together won a bid for Sports Authority’s inventory, according to The Wall Street Journal, which cited people familiar with the matter.

The trio agreed to pay 101 percent of the cost of the retailer’s inventory plus a $1.8 million augment guarantee.

Tuesday’s auction was expressly for the store’s inventory and another auction at a later date will put its real estate up for grabs.

Prior to the auction, offers came in from other retailers like Modell’s and Dick’s Sporting Goods, and analysts had said Dick’s could take on as many as 180 of Sports Authority’s stores.

Dick’s, however, said Tuesday that it would bid on just 30 stores, the Journal reported, which came as a surprise.

Roughly 80 of Sports Authority’s stores have gotten bids, and retailers like Bob’s Discount Furniture and Orchard Brands Corp., a leading multichannel apparel and home products retailer, have their eyes on a handful of stores.

A source close to the matter told the Journal Modell’s had been seen as Sports Authority’s “white knight,” or savior investor, but that it’s small bid came as a disappointment. The source added, however, that the offer from Modell’s could increase as Dick’s’ did.

Sports Authority filed for bankruptcy in early March with hopes of coming out on the other side a changed retailer, but as its agreement with suppliers over inventory for closing sales heated up, and plagued by more than $1.1 billion in debt, the retailer said in April that it would instead pursue a sale.

Closing sales are already on at 140 of Sports Authorities 450 stores, and additional auctions, for its stores, its name and its intellectual property will run through May.