Ritz Camera buys Wolf Camera for .7 Million

The Wolf Camera Inc. sale to Ritz Camera Centers Inc. is a done deal. Wolf Camera is selling its assets to Ritz Camera in a deal worth .7 million, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported. The new company will be based in Ritz's home territory in Beltsville, Md., USA. The pending sale must still get the approval from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

Ritz Camera, owned by David Ritz, operates more than 900 stores nationwide, including eight stores in Wolf's headquarters in the Atlanta, Ga., area.

"I really evaluated all our options, and this is really the best option," said Wolf Camera founder and CEO Chuck Wolf. "I really just had to think what's best for the company."

Wolf Camera filed for bankruptcy June 21, listing assets of million and liabilities of million, according to the filing. Wolf paid Eastman Kodak Co. .5 million for the Fox Photo chain in 1998, a purchase that Wolf himself said was the cause of the company's financial troubles.

Company officials say the Wolf Camera brand will not be dissolved in many markets, including Atlanta, the report said. Instead, Ritz Camera's eight Atlanta stores will be converted to the Wolf name.

"I think it's common business sense [to keep the name]," Wolf said. "Of course it's the Wolf name, but David and I will be working together on this."

Chuck Wolf is slated to stay aboard the company as vice chairman, heading up the chain's retail efforts, the report said. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Wolf's 4,000 store workers nationwide would be unaffected by the change in ownership. The outlook for Wolf Camera managers at the chain's Alpharetta headquarters wasn't so bright, however, the report said. Management of the combined company would be moved to Ritz's headquarters in Beltsville, leaving as many as 250 Wolf Camera workers out of jobs.