American luxury gadget retailer Brookstone is sold to a group of Chinese buyers for $174 million after winning bankruptcy court approval.
The Chinese group, backed by the Chinese conglomerate Sanpower Group and the Hong Kong private-equity firm Sailing Capital, not only wants to revive Brookstone’s US operations, but plans to expand internationally, with an eye of bringing the retailer to China.
The trend of Chinese firms snapping up iconic foreign brands with the hope of bringing it back to China continues unabated.
“Brookstone, as an icon of American innovation, is well-positioned to explore opportunities beyond the U.S.,” including “penetrating markets in China and the U.K.,” said James Liu, chief executive officer of Sailing Capital Advisors Ltd.
Brookstone was buried in debt and the acquisition would help the retailer reduce its debt to about $60 million from nearly $300 million. The company’s EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) is estimated at $30.5 million for 2015.
Brookstone, which started in 1965 as a catalog business offering “hard-to-find tools”, has had difficulty coping with online competitors such as Amazon, who is able to offer similar products for less.
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