P.C. Richard & Son has agreed to pay $1.8 million for
remnants of bankrupt Nobody Beats The Wiz - with plans to revive its rival in
an unspecified form.
The purchase, which includes the Wiz's names, logo, intellectual property,
and its customer lists, was approved Tuesday by U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge
Mary Walrath in Wilmington, Del.
"We're going to use the name," said Gary Richard, president and chief
executive of the privately held, Farmingdale-based electronics retailer.
"There's some credibility in the name. There's some value that can be added."
He declined to say how or when the Wiz name might be used. But Richard said his
44-store chain plans to use the Wiz's customer lists for direct-mail
advertising and possible credit-card solicitations.
Richard won an Aug. 28 bankruptcy court-ordered auction for the Wiz's
intellectual property assets, besting Calif.-based ITC Electronics, whose
final bid was $1.41 million. The sale is expected to close shortly.
[CORRECTION: LTI Electronics, based in Woodcliff Lake, N.J., was the runner-up
bidder for the Wiz name at a bankruptcy court auction. The company was
incorrectly identified in a story in Friday's Business & Technology section.
Pg. A02 ALL 9/6/03]
The Wiz, until March owned by Bethpage-based Cablevision Systems Corp., was
renamed TW Inc. after it was sold to Gordon Brothers Group, a Boston-based
retail liquidation firm. "Things turned out pretty well," said Mark Minuti, a
lawyer with the Wilmington law firm Saul Ewing LLP, who represents TW.
TW filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March. It had 17 stores in
the tri-state area at the time of its bankruptcy filing, all of which have
closed. It closed 26 stores in 2002.
P.C. Richard, founded in 1901, will pay $1.6 million for Wiz trademarks
and $200,000 for customer lists, which the Wiz used while it was in business.
The Jemal family opened the first Wiz in 1976 on Fulton Street in Brooklyn.
Cablevision bought the chain out of bankruptcy five years ago and invested
more than $530 million in it, even as losses piled up.