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TROY, MI-Penske Auto Centers’ equipment is being auctioned off, and with the aid of the World Wide Web, the former automotive service firm’s space is also up for grabs. The company has put its assets on the block following the bankruptcy of Kmart, a discount retail chain also headquartered in Troy.

Penske’s repair stores, about 600 of them, were all in Kmart stores except for one big-box store in Ft. Myers, FL.

Kmart says it would close 285 stores worldwide as part of its recovery plan earlier this year.

Penske informed Kmart on April 5 that it intended to immediately shut down the operations of the auto centers.

Kmart says it has been in discussions with Penske regarding a mutually acceptable plan for the future of the auto centers that would protect the interests of the centers’ customers.

Two companies, Rabin Worldwide of San Francisco and Capital Recovery Group of Enfield, CT are handling the disposition of the assets for the company, says Bill Firestone, president of Capital Recovery. He tells GlobeSt.com his company has tire-changing, air-conditioning changing and radiator flushing systems available, as well as other car service equipment. The six-bay locations are available immediately as turn-key operations or piece-meal sales, Firestone says, unless a large purchase of space can be negotiated.

He’s also directing interested property buyers on the possible purchase of the service stations. A national chain could come in and buy the equipment and run the properties, Firestone believes.

“A tire dealer would be very interested in this auction,” he says.The auction was set for Monday, but Firestone says it was moved back to July 8.

“We’ve had interest in the purchase of multiple blocks of stores,” Firestone says. “There’s a lot of interest, both local and national.”

The auction will be held in four different regions, including Boston, San Francisco, North Carolina and Texas, Firestone says.

Interested buyers can inspect what’s offered at either www.rabin.com or www.crgauction.com/docs/auctions.html.

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