Source: The News-Gazette

A bankruptcy court judge approved Horizon Hobby’s $18.8 million purchase of Hobbico’s remote-control business including Great Planes and Tower Hobbies divisions, along with Axial and Arrma brands. Horizon was the lone bidder in a bankruptcy auction for Hobbico, which filed for Chapter 11 protection in January with the goal of finding a new buyer. It’s not clear how many of the employees will be hired at Horizon, especially since the two Champaign-based hobby-product distributors perform similar tasks.

“Horizon and Hobbico have served many of the same retailers and customers for years,” Horizon CEO Joe Ambrose said when his company announced it would try to buy Hobbico’s RC units.

Also a bankruptcy judge approved a separate $7 million sale of Hobbico’s Colorado-based model-rocket subsidiary, Estes, to an organization called The Langford Group. An auction for Hobbico’s remaining assets, including United Model, Revell US and Revell Germany, was temporarily suspended last week.

Hobbico employees will be applying for jobs in departments at Horizon rather than specific positions, and a temp agency is helping Horizon process the applications.

“Due to time constraints with hiring/reviewing/interviewing 300+ employees, Express Employment is assisting Horizon with the recruitment process,” Huppert wrote. “Employees who are selected to work in the Distribution Center could start on Saturday, April 7th through Express Employment.”

Last year, Hobbico said it employs 415 people and Horizon Hobby reported 341 employees.