Ritz Camera & Image LLC plans to liquidate and go out of business after
failing to find a buyer through a bankruptcy auction.
The 94-year-old Beltsville, Md., company -- the largest U.S. specialty camera retail chain -- will close its remaining 137 stores, which include Massachusetts locations in Boston's Copley Square, the CambridgeSide Galleria and the Derby Street Shoppes in Hingham.
A U.S. bankruptcy court judge in Delaware signed off on a plan yesterday for Boston's Gordon Brothers Retail Partners LLC and Nortbrook, Ill.-based Hilco Merchant Resources LLC to assume control of most of the chain's assets. The two liquidation companies were the highest bidders at a Sept. 6 auction.
"The debtors received no bid to purchase substantially all of the debtors' business and assets as a going concern," chief restructuring officer Marc Weinsweig said in a court filing. The sale to the liquidators "will result in the realization of the maximum amount possible," he said.
Ritz Camera, which emerged from bankruptcy protection almost three years ago, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection again in June. The company suffered from insufficient capital amid the shift to digital photography and the reduction in in-store film processing.
Herald wire services contributed to this report.
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