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Company makes bid for Circuit City name

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Richmond, Va. Systemax, the direct-to-consumer retailer of computers and home electronics, said it made a $6.5 million bid to purchase the well-recognized Circuit City name.

In papers filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Richmond, Va., Circuit City sought permission to sell the "Circuit City" and "The City" brand names and related Web sites, phone numbers, and trademarks to Systemax.

In addition to the cash, Systemax offered the defunct company up to 1.75% of the revenue tied to the Circuit City name that it collects in the next 30 months, according to court papers.

This is not a new practice for Systemax. In January 2008, Systemax purchased 16 stores and the brand name of CompUSA after the nationwide computer retailer liquidated most of its locations. Systemax now operates 23 CompUSA stores in four states and Puerto Rico.

Circuit City is seeking court permission to conduct an auction on May 11, with Systemax serving as the lead bidder. The Port Washington, N.Y., company would be paid a breakup fee of $250,000 if it's not the winning bidder.

Circuit City filed for Chapter 11 protection in November 2008, and began liquidating 567 stores shortly after the holiday-shopping season ended.