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Blockbuster UK to sell mobiles, TVs

UK arm goes on offence following US bankruptcy

Blockbuster UK is set to radically restructure its business following the bankruptcy of its US arm.

Blockbuster UK insists it's unaffected by the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of its US parent, and has revealed its business plan for the next fives years, which includes selling televisions and relocating stores.

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Commercial boss Gerry Butler told MCV of the US biz: "Blockbuster isn't a bad business, it just has a lot of debt. The debt got to $990 million and at some stage you've got to tackle that. Now the Chapter 11 allows the guys some opportunities to refinance the business.

"Now, its European subsidiaries have no debt," he continued. "The UK business is substantially up year-on-year - the UK operation is sitting on over £50m of net assets. It is an extremely well-funded, cash-generative business. Our core rental business is up six per cent, primarily down to Blu-ray.

"The problem in the UK is that people mention Chapter 11 and they say 'Are you closing down?' No, it's absolutely rubbish."

As part of its new business plan, Blockbuster UK will begin selling mobiles, iPods and TVs, and move many of its stores to prominent High Street locations.

"We are becoming more than just a rental firm, we are becoming a company of supplying entertainment needs," said Butler. "At the moment we are testing sales of TVs in 35 shops."

[ SOURCE: MCV ]

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