A Connecticut-based private equity firm, Littlejohn & Co. LLC, was approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware to purchase Houston-based Handy Hardware.

The dealer-owned co-op filed for Ch. 11 bankruptcy protection in January, two months after it closed its distribution facility in Meridian, Miss. In the filing, the company valued its debt and assets at $50 million to $100 million.

An April announcement stating Littlejohn's intent to purchase Handy Hardware noted that the move would shift the co-op's ownership from its 1,250 members to the investor group while cutting its current 2% warehouse service fee. As part of the agreement, Littlejohn provided $4 million in cash to fund Handy Hardware's operations until the deal closed.