Sharper Image sale approved by bankruptcy judge

June 2 (Reuters) - A federal bankruptcy judge has approved the sale of Sharper Image Corp SHRPQ.PK to a joint venture, clearing the way for the liquidation of the gadget retailer's remaining stores.

Judge Kevin Gross of the U.S. bankruptcy court in Wilmington, Delaware, called terms of the $49 million sale “fair and reasonable”, in a decision dated Friday.

The purchaser is a venture led by Hilco Consumer Capital LP, Gordon Brothers Brands LLC and Bluestar Alliance, in partnership with Windsong Brands LLC and Crystal Capital. It won the right to buy San Francisco-based Sharper Image at a May 29 auction.

On Sunday, the new owners said they would close Sharper Image’s 86 remaining stores, and try to sell more than $50 million of inventory. Hilco and Gordon Brothers have already led liquidations at 96 other Sharper Image stores.

The venture said it plans to continue Sharper Image’s wholesale, direct-to-retail, e-commerce and catalogue businesses under a new licensing strategy.

Sharper Image filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February, hurt by falling sales and worsening credit market conditions. It had previously lost money for three years, in part because of lawsuits over its Ionic Breeze air purifiers.

The company put itself up for sale in April. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in Bangalore, editing by Will Waterman)