Blockbuster Seeks to Acquire Hollywood Entertainment
Dallas, Blockbuster has placed an offer to acquire Hollywood Entertainment Corp. for $700 million, a deal that would confirm and enhance Blockbuster’s status as the largest movie-rental company. The deal also comes at a time when Blockbuster has been attempting to keep pace with Netflix and Wal-Mart, its core rivals in the Web-based movie-rental business. However, reports say that Hollywood Entertainment and Blockbuster have yet to discuss the deal.
In addition to the $700 million stock offer, which offers a 17% premium over Wilsonville, Ore.-based Hollywood Entertainment’s closing price of $9.80 on Nov. 10, Blockbuster would reportedly take on debt of about $300 million. In a prepared statement, John Antioco, chairman and chief executive of Blockbuster, said, “We believe this proposed transaction better positions Blockbuster to compete in the rapidly changing home-entertainment marketplace.”
The two companies reportedly attempted to merge roughly five years ago under a plan for a franchise agreement, but later gave up that deal under opposition from the Federal Trade Commission. They may still face the same antitrust concerns, some insiders say. Hollywood Entertainment owns and operates more than 1,920 Hollywood Video superstores and 600 Game Crazy specialty stores. Meanwhile, Blockbuster operates roughly 9,000 stores worldwide.
Food Lion Buys Handful of Winn-Dixie Stores
Salisbury, N.C., Supermarket chain Food Lion is spending an undisclosed sum in cash to acquire 10 stores from Winn-Dixie in North Carolina and Virginia. The acquisition will fill in and reinforce the retailer’s presence in its current geographic footprint. The stores are located in Dunn, Elizabeth City, Elizabethtown and Havelock, N.C., and Clarksville, Danville, Farmville, Martinsville, South Hill and Stanleytown, Va.
Food Lion plans to quickly rebrand five of the stores in Virginia with only a few-days gap in store operations. Also, the store in Elizabethtown will be remodeled significantly to replace Food Lion’s current location there. It says it will conduct further analysis of the remaining locations to better determine how the stores fit in its growth plans. Food Lion, which operates more than 1,200 stores in 11 Southeastern and mid-Atlantic states, is a division of Delhaize America, which also operates the Hannaford Bros. and Kash ’n Karry grocers.
Sport Chalet Adding Two Stores in California
Los Angeles, Specialty retailer Sport Chalet, Inc. will open two stores in The Golden State later this month, in Elk Grove and Visalia. Both stores, which average 42,000 sq. ft., feature an on-site SCUBA training pool.