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Blockbuster U.K. Files for Bankruptcy Protection

16 Jan, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Filing does not affect Blockbuster LLC in the U.S.

Blockbuster U.K. Jan. 16 filed for administrative relief, a British form of bankruptcy protection — the day after entertainment retailer HMV filed for similar relief.

The "administration" announcements were disclosed by Deloitte, the financial risk-management company now in charge of both chains’ daily operations. Deloitte aims to find buyers for both chains.

That's no small task in a market increasingly dominated by subscription video-on-demand services such as Netflix and LoveFilm Instant, among other challenges.

“We are working closely with suppliers and employees to ensure the business has the best possible platform to secure a sale, preserve jobs and generate as much value as possible for all creditors,” Lee Manning, who is in charge of Blockbuster U.K. for Deloitte, said in a statement.

Blockbuster U.K., which operates about 528 stores employing more than 4,000 people, is a subsidiary of Blockbuster LLC, which is owned by Dish Network.

The satellite TV operator bought Dallas-based Blockbuster Inc. out of bankruptcy in 2011 and moved its corporate offices to Englewood, Colo. It operates about 2,500 stores globally, including 850 in the United States. Blockbuster U.K. began operations in 1989.

HMV (His Master’s Voice) operates 240 stores in Britain, Ireland, Singapore and Hong Kong with more than 4,000 total employees. The chain’s iconic logo is from an 1899 painting by Francis Barraud of the dog listening to a cylinder phonograph.

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