Buyers enter end game for Blockbuster

City A.M. Reporter
ADMINISTRATORS at stricken DVD rental shop Blockbuster remained locked in talks with potential suitors last night as turnaround outfit Gordon Brothers Europe emerged as a frontrunner for the UK outlets.

Restructuring specialists at Deloitte, which was appointed administrator to the firm when it hit the buffers in January, said it was still talking with interested parties last night but it is understood Gordon Brothers Europe has submitted a bid for the company.

The company has put together a bid which would involve the retention of roughly 275 of the 528 Blockbuster outlets across the UK, according to Sky News.

The 528 stores employed some 4,190 people.

Deloitte has already confirmed it intends to close 293 stores as part of the administration process in order to give Blockbusters a “profitable core which is capable of being sold”.

Last month supermarket giant Morrison snapped up 49 stores from the failed chain, which it is set to turn into convenience stores.

Gordon Brothers entry into the picture could lead to a bidding war for the remaining chains.

It understood there are only two suitors left in the race for the remaining stores, although the identity of the other bidder is unknown.

Gordon Brothers has experience of helping high street home entertainment chains which have gone into administration.

It previously worked with Deloitte on Entertainment UK, which was owned by Woolworths before its collapse in 2008.

It also made a successful swoop for Irish retail group Clerys to rescue the age old department store.

It is thought the company, which also has offices in Germany, is hoping to move into exclusive talks with Deloitte to take on the 275 Blockbuster stores.

The collapse of Blockbuster was one of a spate of high street casualties this year, as well known brands such as HMV and Jessops all fell prey to falling spending from shoppers.