On the Block

The race to own Sharper Image Corp. is galloping toward the finish line as the San Francisco-based company received bankruptcy court approval to sell assets through an auction on May 28. A joint venture led by Hilco Consumer Capital LP and GB Brands LLC was approved as stalking-horse bidder for the retailer of household gadgets, which filed for Chapter 11 protection in February. Hilco Consumer and GB Brands will receive a break-up fee of up to 2 percent of the purchase price if they don’t win the auction. Meanwhile, Jerry Levin, who resigned as Sharper Image’s chairman in April, wants to acquire some or all of Sharper Image.

Flagship Global Health Inc.’s (Nasdaq: FGHH) board has authorized the exploration of strategic alternatives. The health-assurance company will consider raising capital by selling equity or debt. It will also think about a merger or sale of the company to another party. In addition, Flagship Global is continuing to repatriate about $1.5 million that is in China. If it fails to fund working capital needs through a financing or a sales increase, the New York-based company has said it may have to cease operations or file for bankruptcy protection.

Centerplate Inc.’s (Amex: CVP) directors have started to evaluate strategic alternatives. The Stamford, Conn.-based company hired UBS Investment Bank to assist in the process. Centerplate believes its income deposit security structure may limit the company’s ability to invest to strengthen and grow its business. The operator of concession, catering and merchandise services in sports arenas, convention centers and other entertainment facilities expects the evaluation will to take up to six months to complete. For the first quarter, losses widened to $11.2 million from $8 million from a year earlier due to less operating income and more interest expense.

United American Healthcare Corp. (Nasdaq: UAHC) is evaluating strategic alternatives after it received a notice that its UAHC Health Plan unit’s contract to provide health care services to Medicaid recipients in Memphis and western Tennessee would not be renewed when the pact expires in October. The TennCare contract accounts for 59 percent of the $21.5 million in total revenue United American Healthcare generated for the nine months ended March 31. The Detroit-based company expects the lost contract will have a material impact on its fiscal 2009 operations. For the most recent quarter ended March 31, losses widened to $3.8 million from $40,000 a year before. The drop was primarily the result of a $3.5 million goodwill impairment charge for the pending contract expiration.