RadioShack starts process to auction 1,700 store leases

Feb 12 (Reuters) - Bankrupt electronics retailer RadioShack Corp kicked off a process to auction leases of about 1,700 stores to avoid paying an estimated $7 million in rent next month.

The company, which filed for bankruptcy protections last week, filed a motion on Thursday with the Delaware bankruptcy court to approve the procedures for the sale of the leases.

RadioShack had a tentative deal to sell as many as 2,400 of its 4,100 stores to an affiliate of hedge fund Standard General, one of its lenders and largest shareholders. But that agreement is subject to higher bids.

As part of that deal, Sprint Corp is working with Standard General to sell mobile devices as well as RadioShack products, services and accessories in at least 1,750 of those stores.

RadioShack had received court approval on Monday to borrow $10 million to support operations until it opens the bidding for its best-performing stores.

RadioShack posted 11 straight quarterly losses after failing to transform itself into a destination for mobile phone buyers and filed for bankruptcy protection on Feb. 5. (Reporting by Shailaja Sharma and Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)