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Modell’s & Sports Direct Reportedly Set To Bid On Sports Authority Stores

Modell’s Sporting Goods and U.K.-based sporting goods retailer Sports Direct International Plc are in talks about a potential deal to acquire as many as 200 Sports Authority stores, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The news follows months of speculation regarding who — if anyone at all — might snap up some of bankrupt Sports Authority’s stores as the retailer liquidates all of its 463 doors.

In court documents filed Friday, Sports Authority said it had a “bulk buyer” that expressed interest in purchasing between 100 and 200 of Sports Authority’s leases. Modell’s and Sports Direct — at least partly — comprise the group of “bulk buyers,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

The court filings also stated that the “bulk buyer” has expressed a desire to hire “a substantial number of [Sports Authority] employees, which could number in the thousands if a transaction is ultimately consummated.”

The court document goes on to state that a deal with the “bulk buyer” presents “one of, if not the last, viable option for enterprise-wide value to be realized through the subsequent sale process, including the continued employment of thousands of [Sports Authority’s] employees.”

The deadline for submitting bids for Sport Authority stores is Thursday.

Once a leading sporting goods retailer, Sports Authority filed for Chapter 11 protection in March — yielding under the weight of hefty real estate costs, increased e-commerce competition and the rise of other sporting goods retailers such as Dick’s Sporting Goods and Modell’s.

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