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 Blockbuster.
"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.