Entertainment retailer Blockbuster has been bought out of administration by private equity firm Gordon Brothers Europe, it has been announced.
Saving over 2,000 jobs, the move will see the retailer’s 264 stores across the UK and Channel islands remain open further to a “substantial investment” from restructuring specialists TS 1973 Investment Holdings Limited, a subsidiary of Gordon Brothers Europe.
Administrators Deloitte, which were appointed to the retailer as it collapsed into administration at the start of the year, confirmed the sale for an undisclosed sum. Lee Manning, Joint Administrator, said of the deal: “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.”
Gordon Brothers also announced today that former HMV UK & Ireland Commercial Director Gary Warren has been appointed as Managing Director of Blockbuster, bringing over 20 years’ retail experience to the business.
HMV also fell into administration at the start of the year as it struggled to maintain its position within an increasingly multichannel market.
Last month, the firm worked with ailing fashion retailer Republic to restore its operations amid a difficult trading environment and drove a 2.5 times increase in sales, “whilst maintaining a stable margin that facilitated a going concern trade sale”, according to a statement.
Commenting on its latest acquisition, 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.”