NATIONAL BRIEFING

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Thursday, November 6, 2008

RETAIL

Tweeter Files for Chapter 11

Tweeter Opco sought bankruptcy protection for the second time in 17 months after Schultze Asset Management failed to revive it.

Tweeter, a consumer electronics chain, listed assets and debt of less than $100 million each in Chapter 11 documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del. Affiliates Tweeter Newco, Tweeter Tivoli and Tweeter Intellectual Property also sought protection from creditors.

The company said it has begun store-closing sales at the 94 shops it operates in 17 states under the Tweeter, Sound Advice, HiFi Buys and Showcase Home Entertainment names.

Circuit City Begins Closing Stores

Circuit City said it has named Hilco Merchant Resources and Gordon Brothers Retail Partners to liquidate nearly 155 stores that the company has deemed unprofitable. Hilco and Gordon Brothers took over sales at the stores yesterday and are scheduled to complete them by the end of the year, according to a Circuit City filing with the Securities Exchange Commission.

Circuit City will recoup at least 72 percent of the cost of the merchandise that is sold, and the joint venture will receive about 3.5 percent. Circuit City and the joint venture will split any profit from the sale, according to the filing.

CONSUMER SAFETY

CPSC Warned on Crib Recall

SFCA, a crib and bassinet company backed by Bethesda private-equity firm Blackstreet Capital, is "winding down" its operations, possibly leaving the owners of hundreds of thousands of recalled cribs without a remedy, according to a letter sent to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

SFCA last spring bought the brand and inventory of cribmaker Simplicity, which last year recalled 1 million cribs after the deaths of two children. In September, Madigan's office discovered SFCA had closed its call center for consumers seeking repair kits for their cribs.

Madigan is urging the CPSC to obtain any registration cards SFCA may have for the recalled cribs and to take over distribution of the kits. Officials with Blackstreet did not return calls or e-mails requesting comment.

EXECUTIVES

Lehman's CEO Denied Severance

Lehman Brothers chief executive Richard Fuld will step down by the end of the year without severance or a bonus, a spokesman said. He will stay on as chairman. Pressure has mounted on Fuld for his role in the demise of what was once the country's fourth-largest investment bank. The announcement comes a day after New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli accused Fuld of leading Lehman to its chaotic bankruptcy filing.


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