New York - A
court-approved auction for the bankrupt Blockbuster video chain represents "the
best opportunity to move the company forward," chairman/CEO Jim Keyes said in a
statement issued today.
A federal bankruptcy
court here approved the auction yesterday over the objection of creditors that
included Hollywood studios and landlords.
Bidders will likely have
25 days to top a "stalking horse" base bid of $290 million by hedge fund group Cobalt
Video Holdco, which previously entered into an asset purchase agreement with
"We are pleased that the court has authorized us to proceed with
the auction process, which we believe represents the best opportunity to move
the company forward and maximize value for our stakeholders," Keyes said.
Blockbuster expects that
its U.S. operations, including a majority of its stores, DVD vending kiosks,
by-mail and digital businesses, will continue to serve customers in the
ordinary course during the sale process. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
protection on September 23, 2010.