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Thursday 18 September 2014

Jobs saved as Blockbuster is bought

Published 23/03/2013 | 15:06

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Blockbuster collapsed in January amid competition from internet firms and the digital streaming of movies and games

Troubled DVD and games rental chain Blockbuster has been bought, saving 2,000 jobs and 264 UK stores.

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Administrators from Deloitte, the accountancy firm, announced restructuring specialists Gordon Brothers Europe had purchased the company for an undisclosed sum. Blockbuster collapsed in January amid competition from internet firms and the digital streaming of movies and games.

Joint administrator Lee Manning 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."

The Blockbuster brand will be licensed from US-based Blockbuster LLC.

Lee Manning, Matthew David Smith and Neville Kahn, partners at Deloitte, were appointed joint administrators to Blockbuster Entertainment Limited and Blockbuster GB Limited who trade as Blockbuster, January 16, with 528 stores.

Hundreds of shops were shut in the weeks after its collapse. Blockbuster struggled to adapt to the changing market and rivalry from internet retailers including Netflix, Amazon's LoveFilm and iTunes, which now offers a movie rental service.

The devastating impact of the internet on Britain's high street had already been laid bare with the demise of camera chain Jessops and electricals group Comet, which also cited competition from online players as a major reason for their downfall.

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