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Founder Solomon Out as Tower Bidder

26 Sep, 2006 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Russ Solomon, who co-founded venerable music retail chain Tower Records & Video with his brother 46 years ago in a storefront adjacent to the former Tower Theater in West Sacramento, Calif., has declined to submit a bid on his bankrupt company.

“It is confirmed,” said Frank Washington, advisor to Solomon and board chairman of the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.

Washington said it would appear self-evident Solomon's decision marked the end of a long history between the Solomon family and the Tower brand. He declined further comment.

Tower filed for bankruptcy for the second time Aug. 20, listing debts and assets in excess of $100 million, respectively.

Bids for the 89-store chain's inventory and related assets are due today (Sept. 26) with an auction slated for Oct. 5 at the offices of Richards, Layton, & Finger, P.A. in Wilmington, Del.

The Great American Group, a Woodland Hills, Calif.-based asset-management company that specializes in flipping excess inventory through strategic retail store-closings and wholesale and industrial liquidations, remains as the apparent lead bidder, according to Tower.

The Sacramento Bee reported Sept. 26 that Chicago-based private equity firm Radius Equity Partners was the lone confirmed bidder.

Representatives from Tower and Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin, the Los Angeles-based investment banker Tower hired in March to sell the company, were not immediately available for comment.

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