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U.S. judge approves $135.7 million sale of Brookstone to investor consortium

By Casey Sullivan

(Reuters) - Retailer Brookstone Inc [TEMSHB.UL] announced on Monday that a federal bankruptcy court judge in Delaware has approved its sale to a consortium of Chinese investors that will run its 240 stores after exiting bankruptcy.

Sailing Innovation Inc will acquire Brookstone for $135.7 million, net of cash and assumed liabilities, as the New Hampshire company expects to emerge from bankruptcy by early July, according to a Brookstone announcement.

The deal was approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Brendan Shannon in Wilmington three months after Brookstone filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection when it saw sales fall as shoppers cut discretionary spending.

Brookstone sells products ranging from massage chairs to bathroom slippers through stores in malls and airports across the United States and Puerto Rico.

Jim Speltz, Brookstone’s president and chief executive office, said in a statement that Brookstone had restructured its balance sheet, improved its capital structure and “found a strategic partner who shares our vision and is committed to our growth.”

James Liu, president and CEO of Sailing, said in a statement that Sailing was committed to strengthening Brookstone’s operations in the United States and believes Brookstone is well positioned to expand outside the United States.

“As the first step, Sailing will muster and lead global resources to assist Brookstone in penetrating markets in China and the UK,” said Liu.

Brookstone’s legal advisor for the restructuring is K&L Gates and its financial advisor is Deloitte CRG, while the legal advisor for Sailing is Gibson Dunn & Crutcher and the financial advisor is Houlihan Lokey. Jefferies LLC is the company's investment banker.

(Reporting by Casey Sullivan in New York; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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