Vann's stores sold to Texas retailer; new management arrives next week

2012-11-08T06:10:00Z 2013-09-04T13:24:57Z Vann's stores sold to Texas retailer; new management arrives next weekBy JENNA CEDERBERG of the Missoulian missoulian.com
November 08, 2012 6:10 am  • 

Vann’s Inc. is under new ownership.

The $4.5 million sale of the bankrupt company’s five electronics and appliance retail stores to Texas-based McMagic Partners LP was finalized Tuesday after parties finished signing closing documents.

“We got the order on Friday (from the bankruptcy judge) and we were hoping to have it all done on Monday, we just had a lot of details that had to get taken care of,” so the deal wasn’t finished until Tuesday afternoon, said Dick Samson, the court-appointed bankruptcy trustee.

McMagic plans to keep the Vann’s stores open and retain the employees, representative Alan Huxtable said last week, but he didn’t provide specifics on how many or which employees will keep their jobs.

The “open” sign was lit throughout the day Wednesday at Vann’s Brooks Street location. Customers were quickly greeted by sales staff.

One employee said McMagic management was set to arrive next week, but Vann’s Chief Executive Officer Jerry McConnell did not immediately return phone calls to confirm that.

A call to McMagic’s Huxtable was not returned Wednesday.

The deal to sell Vann’s was revealed last week after an asset purchase agreement was filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court showing McMagic offered to pay $4.5 million for the stores. The deal is intended to keep the stores open.

Vann’s filed for bankruptcy in August. In September, management gave a 60-day closure notice to its almost 150 employees. But in early October, McConnell announced a Bozeman businessman had expressed interest in buying the retail stores. That potential sale allowed Vann’s to keep its doors open.

During testimony at the bankruptcy hearing last week, Samson said a total of three potential buyers stepped forward during the process. Two others backed out, but McMagic submitted a letter of intent to purchase Vann’s on Oct. 16.

McMagic is a Texas-based company that is part of the larger Khaledi Group. Among Khaledi Group’s 38 companies is a chain of HK Global Duty Free electronics stores located throughout California, Arizona and Texas. Huxtable said last week the company is interested in expanding into new markets.

Vann’s has retail stores in Missoula, Hamilton, the Flathead Valley, Bozeman and Billings.

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge John L. Peterson approved the McMagic sale during a hearing on Friday. However, Vann’s Chapter 7 bankruptcy case is still open; Samson said it could take up to a year to finalize all the proceedings.

“The sale part was pretty much nonstop for the past 30 days,” Samson said. “There’s a lot that remains to be done, I have really prioritized it yet.”

Reporter Jenna Cederberg can be reached at 523-5241 or at jenna.cederberg@missoulian.com.

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