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Behind RadioShack’s Collapse Is a Tiny Distressed Lender

A RadioShack Corp. store in Peoria, Illinois.

A RadioShack Corp. store in Peoria, Illinois.

Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg
Updated on

To most outside observers, the collapse of RadioShack Corp. was set in motion years, if not decades, ago.

Yet lost in that tale of inevitable decline is the story of how a little-known, distressed lender from Needham Heights, Massachusetts, helped sink the 94-year-old retailer into bankruptcy. It’s a relationship that went so wrong, so quickly that at times it bordered on dysfunctional, highlighting in the process the vicissitudes that often plague troubled companies searching for emergency financing.