Blockbuster bought by turnaround specialist

Restructuring specialists Gordon Brothers Europe have bought Blockbuster - the troubled DVD and games rental chain - securing 2,000 jobs and 264 UK stores in the process.

Administrators Deloitte said the firm had been purchased for an undisclosed sum.

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

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.'

Deloitte had previously earmarked 293 stores at the DVD retailer for closure, with the intention of leaving a 'profitable core which is capable of being sold', but it is thought that some of these could now be included in the deal floated by Gordon Brothers.

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.'

Stiff competition from internet-based providers, as well as the shift towards digital streaming of movies and games contributed significantly to the pressure which led Blockbuster to fall into administration at the beginning of this year.

In February it was announced that supermarket chain Morrisons planned to turn the 49 stores it took ownership of into convenience stores.

Gordon Brothers stepped in last month to assist Ernst & Young to find a buyer for the collapsed fashion retailer Republic.

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