Cash Strapped Blockbuster Goes Up for Sale

Paul Lilly

If you can top a $290 million offer, you can go out and purchase Blockbuster, the bankrupt video rental chain that's now up for sale, CNN reports . An investor group made up of Monarch Alternative Capital, Owl Creek Asset Management, Stonehill Capital Management, and Varde Partners made the $290 million offer, and all happen to be creditors of Blockbuster.

"By initiating a sale process at this time, we intend to accelerate our Chapter 11 proceedings and move the company forward," CEO Jim Keyes said in a statement. "An auction will allow the company to invite competing bids from both strategic and financial investors."

CNN attributes Blockbuster's financial woes to being spun off from Viacom in 2004. The deal called for Blockbuster to pay Viacom shareholders a $5 per share dividend, ultimately resulting in $1 billion in debt. But the meteoric rise of Netflix didn't help matters either. Blockbuster tried competing with Netflix in the DVD-by-mail business, however the rental chain had no answer for Netflix's now thriving streaming video service.

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