Collapsed Blockbuster UK chain might see a revival as retail restructuring specialist Gordon Brothers Europe is planning to takeover the movie rental retailer which went into administration a few weeks ago. Gordon Brothers are in active talks with Deloitte, which was appointed as administrator to Blockbuster UK in January. Sources claim that Gordon Brothers has submitted a bid for Blockbuster focused on retaining around 275 of the 528 Blockbuster stores that were open before the chain’s collapse.
Although details of other bidders have not been disclosed, Gordon Brothers’ offer sees Blockbuster’s revival. The news comes just a day after Asda expressed interest to bid for ailing HMV with an intention to keep the music retailer alive in the entertainment business.
Sources aware of the negotiations said that no deal has been reached yet and warned that any rescue of Blockbuster’s UK business could yet collapse altogether. But they predicated that Deloitte was targeting a deal ahead of the ‘quarter day’ towards the end of the month when retailers make their rental payments for the following three months. It is also unclear as to how many of the 275 stores being sought by Gordon Brothers will be retained for a protracted period, given the structural challenges faced by Blockbuster’s business.
Since Deloitte’s appointment as Blockbuster’s administrators, 293 stores have been put on notice of closure, some of which have been closed down now. Nearly 50 shops have been sold to Wm Morrisons. Insiders claim that Deloitte is also in talks with Dish Network, Blockbuster UK’s US-based parent, about the inclusion of the DVD retailer’s brand as part of the package of assets that would change hands in any deal.