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Exclusive: RadioShack gets new financing offers - sources

A Radio Shack store is seen in Cambridge, Massachusetts April 28, 2008. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
A Radio Shack store is seen in Cambridge, Massachusetts April 28, 2008. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

By Dhanya Skariachan and Nick Brown

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. retailer RadioShack Corp has received several offers for new financing, including one from current lenders Bank of America Corp and Wells Fargo & Co , three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Securing a new financing deal could help RadioShack cut its borrowing costs and assure vendors and other key partners that it has enough cash to fund turnaround efforts led by Chief Executive Joe Magnacca.

General Electric Co's GE Capital, which tends to make large asset-based lending deals, "is also in the mix," two of the sources said, while a fourth source told Reuters that JPMorgan is also considering making an offer.

Representatives for Bank of America, Wells Fargo and RadioShack declined comment. GE Capital and JPMorgan did not respond to requests seeking comment.

After the retailer paid down $214 million of debt due in August 2013 with cash, it still had more than $200 million in cash and about $400 million available on its secured credit facility, which expires in January 2016.

Sales at RadioShack have been in free fall amid executive departures, strong competition and an image problem. Despite its ubiquitous presence in the United States, analysts say it has not done enough to transform itself into a destination for mobile phone shoppers or to become hip to woo younger shoppers.

It reported a wider-than-expected loss in its most recent quarter.

Earlier this week, ratings agency Fitch reaffirmed its 'CCC' long-term issuer default rating on the company, citing "the significant decline" in RadioShack's profitability and cash flow, which has become progressively more pronounced during the last six quarters.

Magnacca, who took the company's helm in February, has said he expects the turnaround process to take several quarters. Under him, the company has changed its logo, reduced clutter in stores and improved displays of key brands. It is also removing some duplicative products from stores and moving them online, and stepping up its focus on carrying private-label goods that often carry higher margins.

RadioShack has said it is working with bankers from Peter J Solomon Co to boost its liquidity.

Two of the sources said Solomon had set October 2 as the deadline for interested parties to submit financing offers, but it was unclear whether that was a hard deadline or how finalized the offers needed to be.

The news comes less than two months after Reuters reported that RadioShack was looking to refinance its debt by securing new, lower-cost loans, a process it wanted to complete by the end of the year.

Two sources told Reuters this week that they did not expect RadioShack to tap its revolver leading up to the holidays.

RadioShack shares closed down 4.1 percent, or 14 cents, at $3.25 Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Dhanya Skariachan and Nick Brown; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick, John Wallace and Bob Burgdorfer)

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