Private equity firm Littlejohn & Co. LLC is buying Handy Hardware Wholesale Inc., which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January.

Houston-based Handy Hardware is a hardware wholesaler and retailer with more than 1,000 members. The chain sells plumbing, electrical, general hardware, paint, hand and power tools, law, automotive and office supplies.

Littlejohn, headquartered in Greenwich, Conn., is a private equity firm that focuses on distressed companies. The firm is investing from Littlejohn Fund IV LP, which has more than $1.3 billion in capital commitments. In May, the firm made an equity investment in Gulf Coast Shipyard Group Inc., which manufactures marine vessels.  In March, Littlejohn closed a deal for Direct ChassisLink Inc. 

Handy Hardware filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on January 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware in Wilmington. Judge Mary Walrath approved the sale on July 25, when she confirmed Handy Hardware’s reorganization plan.

Littlejohn provided Handy Hardware's debtor-in-possession loan during the bankruptcy case.

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