Vann's CEO says potential buyer is credible, has resources


MISSOULA, Mont. - After a bankruptcy hearing in federal court Tuesday, the CEO of the bankrupt electronics and appliance store Vann's Inc., said he's confident in a potential sale of the business.

Jerry McConnell told NBC Montana the potential buyer is interested in all five of the stores and some of the online business. That buyer is from Bozeman, and McConnell said he's a well-know Montana businessman, however his name is not being released just yet.

Judge John L. Peterson's decision on Tuesday to assign a Chapter 11 bankruptcy trustee will help make any potential sale possible. Creditors and Vann's representatives asked for the Chapter 11 decision. Both sides said it would give the company time to decide if the sale is going to work.

Creditors asked Peterson to give Vann's until the end of this month to finalize a sale if it's going to happen. In the meantime the liquidation process will continue, and the court appointed trustee will have oversight.

McConnell said the sale is close to being finalized and that the company just needs more time to make the deal happen.

"He's very interested and he's committed. I think once we get some time to sit down we can put it together quickly," said McConnell.

Creditors asked the judge to covert to Chapter 7 bankruptcy if the purchaser is ‘not real' or ‘serious' about buying the company.

Less than two weeks ago, Vann's asked the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to convert its bankruptcy to liquidation because it had not been able to secure the $3 million to $5 million investment needed. The closure would mean the loss of about 150 jobs.

Vann's is owned by its employees, who learned of the possible sale Monday morning.

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