Briefly: Once the reigning champ of home video retailers, Blockbuster Inc. went into bankruptcy not long ago. Now, as creditors have not been able to agree upon a plan to reorganize the company’s assets, the chain is up for auction. Four creditors (Monarch Alternative Capital, Owl Creek Asset Management, Stonehill Capital Management and Varde Partners) have created Cobalt Video Holdco, LLC in order to begin the sale with a ‘stalking horse’ bid: a $290m offer, which is intended to establish a lower threshold for bids. That collection of creditors could end up owning Blockbuster if no one else bids.
Blockbuster will continue to operate as normal during this process, and Jim Keyes, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, issued the following statement:
By initiating a sale process at this time, we intend to accelerate our Chapter 11 proceedings and move the Company forward. An auction will allow the Company to invite competing bids from both strategic and financial investors. This will also allow for the consolidation of ownership of the Company to those with a clear and focused vision for Blockbuster’s future. The purchaser will be able to take full advantage of Blockbuster’s many strengths, which include an internationally recognized brand name, an exceptional library of more than 125,000 titles, millions of loyal customers, and a multi-channel content distribution platform. Because of its ability to deliver physical content (through DVDs) and digital content (through streaming), Blockbuster can offer customers the unique ability to access any movie, any time.