Blockbuster sale to restructuring specialist saves 264 stores and 2,000 jobs


Blockbuster has been sold by joint administrators, Deloitte, to restructuring specialist, Gordon Brothers Europe, for an undisclosed sum.

Under the terms of the deal 264 stores will be retained along with around 2,000 jobs. The brand will be licensed from US-based Blockbuster LLC.

Former HMV UK and Ireland commercial director, Gary Warren, has been appointed as managing director of Blockbuster. With over 20 years working in the retail sector, Warren’s experience also includes a role at HMV North America and Canada, as vice president of operations and product from 2001–2005.

Frank Morton, CEO of Gordon Brothers Europe, said: “We are delighted to announce the acquisition of Blockbuster. We acknowledge the industry is in transition; we know that we have a challenge ahead but there is still a market to be served. Blockbuster has a strong brand affinity and we believe that with the right mix of new product offering, new technologies, strategic management and marketing, we can bring new life to this high street staple. We look forward to working with employees, suppliers, landlords and other stakeholders to make this happen.”

Lee Manning, joint administrator, at Deloitte, said: “Having identified a profitable core portfolio of stores we are pleased to have achieved this sale for creditors. Together with the previously announced store sales more than half of the original estate has been secured for ongoing use. This transaction provides Blockbuster a future in the UK and we owe a special vote of thanks to all the company’s employees, suppliers and customers for helping us rescue the business.”

Last month Gordon Brothers Europe lent its global expertise to improve the trading position of the ailing Republic fashion chain driving a 2.5 times increase in sales, while maintaining a stable margin that facilitated a going concern trade sale.

Lee Manning, Matthew David Smith and Neville Kahn, partners at Deloitte, the business advisory firm, were appointed joint administrators to Blockbuster Entertainment Limited and Blockbuster GB Limited who trade as Blockbuster, the DVD and video games rental Company on 16 January 2013.