Landlords Demand Back Rent as Blockbuster Payables Mount17 Feb, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel
A group of landlords whose properties include 38 Blockbuster stores are demanding the bankrupt disc rental chain make immediate payment on unpaid rent or face eviction.
In a Feb. 16 filing with U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York, Centro Properties Group, UBS Realty Investors LLC, Federal Realty Investment Trust and Rodeo Holdings LLC said Blockbuster allegedly owes them $339,000 for February rent, among other fees.
The landlords may be getting nervous following a recent complaint filed by Summit Home Entertainment seeking more than $9 million in payment for rental discs of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse and Red, among other titles. The studio filed the complaint after it was allegedly told Jan. 28 by Blockbuster that the chain didn’t have the funds to pay the bill.
Indeed, since filing for Chapter 11 protection last September, Blockbuster has seen its accounts payable (payment due) increase more than 10-fold to $145.8 million through Jan. 2 from $13.1 in October. At the same time, available cash increased to $66.2 million from $38.3 million at bankruptcy.
Blockbuster also had $35.3 million in accounts receivable (payment owed) through Jan. 2.