New bidder for Altrec

Another online retailer makes play for Redmond’s Altrec

By Joseph Ditzler / The Bulletin / @josefditzler

The company first in line to buy Altrec Inc., the Redmond-based online retailer of outdoor gear and clothing, dropped out of the running, but a Minnesota-based online retailer has stepped in to take its place, according to bankruptcy filings.

However, the new company, Active Boarder Corp., will not agree to rehire Altrec’s workers if it gets the company, according to the filings.

Bids for Altrec were due by 11 a.m. Monday; the auction itself is set for 9 a.m. Thursday.

Fifteen firms in all, including Active Boarder’s parent company, expressed interest in January in buying Altrec.

But Active Boarder, based in St. Paul, Minn., assumed the role of “stalking-horse” bidder after Remington, through its subsidiary Great Outdoors Holdco, dropped out Feb. 10, according to bankruptcy filings. Active Boarder also sells outdoor gear on TruSnow.com.

A stalking-horse bidder, under bankruptcy law, sets a bid that alternative bidders must beat, in this case by at least $275,000, according to the purchase agreement.

James Bailie, a Minneapolis attorney representing Active Boarder, said Monday he understood other bids were received but he didn’t know whether any were qualified. Active Boarder agreed to bid $3.25 million, the same offer originally made by Holdco.

Stephen Poindexter, CEO of Active Boarder’s parent company, Active Sports Inc., signed off on an amended agreement to purchase Altrec, in which it assumed nearly all the original sale conditions. However, Active Boarder deleted, with the court’s approval, a stipulation that it rehire Altrec’s approximately 20 employees if its bid prevailed. Bailie said Active Boarder was unwilling to commit to rehiring all Altrec employees. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Randall Dunn signed off Friday on the amended agreement.

Holdco, which officially stepped in to buoy Altrec’s operation in January, may still recoup up to $250,000 of its costs to prepare Altrec for sale. Active Boarder, when it assumed the stalking horse role Friday, agreed to share the reimbursement with Holdco, according to bankruptcy filings.

Dunn scheduled a hearing Feb. 24 to approve the final sale.

Altrec, millions of dollars in debt to its suppliers and backers, filed for Chapter 11 protection in January.

— Reporter: 541-617-7815, jditzler@bendbulletin.com