Deloitte administrators sell Blockbuster stores

DELOITTE ADMINISTRATORS have managed to sell 264 stores at Blockbuster saving about 2,000 jobs.

Insolvency trade body R3 president and Deloitte partner Lee Manning (pictured) was appointed administrator. Neville Kahn, also a Deloitte partner, joins him, although Kahn’s hands are full as he was recently appointed to high-profile and large administrations Comet and HMV. They are joined by Deloitte partner David Smith.

The administrators have sold the DVD and games rental chain to restructuring specialists Gordon Brothers Europe. Earlier this year supermarket chain Morrisons announced it had bought 49 stores to expand its portfolio.

At the time of the collapse Blockbusters had 528 stores and 4,190 staff. Since appointment, the administrators have closed half of the portfolio (264) with about 2,000 staff made redundant.

In two separate announcements by administrators earlier this year, it was revealed about 293 stores would close. However, some of the store closures were suspended to enable an offer from Gordon Brothers Europe to be explored and 29 of the planned store closures have now been sold as part of the rescue deal.

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 on-going use.

“This transaction provides Blockbuster with 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.” 

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