July 9, 2013 / 6:41 PM / 5 years ago

Hoover owner vacuums up Oreck at bankruptcy auction

July 9 (Reuters) - The manufacturer of Hoover and Dirt Devil brand vacuum cleaners was the winning bidder for rival Oreck in a bankruptcy auction on Monday, offering at least $24.4 million to outbid members of the Oreck family.

The bankrupt pioneer of the upright vacuum went on the auction block with an opening bid that included about $14.5 million in cash from a group led by Tom Oreck, a former chief executive of the company founded by his father. The total value of Tom Oreck’s bid, which included various assumed liabilities, was estimated in court documents at about $22 million.

Oreck’s business was acquired by Royal Appliance Manufacturing Co, a unit of TTI Group of Hong Kong. TTI owns power tool and consumer appliance brands such as Ryobi, Milwaukee and Homelite.

The details of the winning bid will be made public before a hearing to approve the sale, which is scheduled for July 16 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Nashville.

Parties to a bankruptcy auction often hammer out the final terms of a sale agreement in the days after a winning bidder is selected.

Oreck Corp said in a statement that Royal intended to close the sale on July 24.

Oreck Corp was founded in 1963 by David Oreck, who began selling upright vacuum cleaners to hotels. The company later moved to selling its vacuums for the residential market and today has approximately 250 retail locations.

The company has been through a string of private equity owners since David Oreck sold it 10 years ago to American Securities Capital Partners.

During the same time, British vacuum cleaner company Dyson introduced popular bagless vacuum cleaners in the United States and Hurricane Katrina forced Oreck to move its manufacturing - and later its headquarters - from the Gulf Coast region to Tennessee.

Money raised from the sale of Oreck’s assets will go toward paying off the company’s creditors.

The case is In Re: Oreck Corp, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Middle District of Tennessee, no. 13-04006

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