RadioShack files for bankruptcy protection

Struggling consumer electronics chain RadioShack would live on, its future, however, might lie with Sprint, AP reported.

The company, founded nearly a century ago, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection late yesterday. The company plans to sell 1,500 to 2,400 stores to its largest shareholder, Standard General, and had filed a motion to proceed with closing the remainder of its 4,000 US stores.

Wireless carrier Sprint Corp had a deal with Standard General to open mini-shops in as many as 1,750 of the RadioShack stores that Standard General was acquiring.

Sprint would occupy around a third of the retail space in each RadioShack location, and Sprint employees would sell mobile devices and Sprint plans.

Further, Sprint would be the primary brand on those RadioShack storefronts and marketing materials.

Sprint had over 1,100 company-owned retail stores, which would more than double in case of approval of the transaction.

It would be expected to be finalised in the coming months. However, other parties could bid for RadioShack's stores in the bankruptcy process.

The company, based in Fort Worth, Texas, was also having discussions for the sale of all its remaining assets overseas.

RadioShack's bankruptcy declaration came nearly a century after it opened its first store and sent out its first calalogue.

The deal it had struck with Sprint would see it sell up to 2,400 of its approximately 4,000 stores and wireless company Sprint would create a "store within a store" in up to 1,750 of those. The company would close it remaining stores.

The franchise locations of the company as also its stores in Mexico and Asia, were not included in the deal.

Meanwhile, CNN Monery reported, RadioShack would not however, go away completely and customers would still be able to purchase RadioShack products, services and accessories at the approximately 1,750 stores where Sprint would open shop.

In fact, Sprint would occupy only one third of those locations, where it would sell devices and plans. The stores would be "co-branded," according to a Sprint spokeswoman.

The bankruptcy announcement did not come as a surprise. The New York Stock Exchange suspended trading of the  company's shares on Monday. Also RadioShack workers had told CNNMoney that a number of locations had already been converted to clearance stores.