Circuit City in sale talks; Best Buy shrinks targets

As Circuit City makes note of two "interested parties," holiday season results spur Best Buy to revise its earnings expectations.

Larry Dignan
2 min read

This was originally posted at ZDNet's Between the Lines.

Circuit City said Friday that it is in talks with "two highly motivated and interested parties" about selling the company as a going concern. Meanwhile, Best Buy, the largest electronics retailer in the U.S., reckons it continues to take market share.

Circuit City asked the bankruptcy court to approve procedures that officially would sell Circuit City in total, by business units, or by assets such as inventory.

In a statement, Circuit City said:

These interested parties are considering providing additional financing to allow the company to sustain operations and move forward with a subsequent restructuring through a stand-alone plan and/or purchasing the company or all or substantially all of the company's assets. The parties have substantially completed due diligence and now are in negotiations with the company and the company's major stakeholders in order to finalize such a transaction. While the company is optimistic that a transaction can be successfully finalized, no assurance can be given that this will occur.

If these transactions don't occur by Jan. 16, Circuit City could liquidate.

Separately, Best Buy narrowed its financial outlook. Best Buy on Friday said its holiday revenue was in line with revised expectations, but same store sales fell 6.5 percent.

The electronics retailing giant made the announcement at the Consumer Electronics Show.

By the numbers:

• Revenue was up 4 percent for the month ending Jan. 3 to $7.5 billion, in line with expectations.
• Best Buy narrowed its earnings targets. The company is predicting fiscal 2009 earnings to be $2.50 to $2.70 a share, excluding a $111 million investment impairment charge. The company had projected 2009 earnings between $2.30 and $2.90 a share.
• The company will take a fiscal fourth quarter charge of $60 million for its voluntary severance program.

Here's the breakdown of sales by category: