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Blockbuster UK and 2,000 jobs saved following buyout by Gordon Brothers

The UK arm of entertainment retailer Blockbuster will live to rent another DVD, after private equity group Gordon Brothers Europe bought the struggling chain for an undisclosed fee.

News of the rescue was confirmed by administrator Deloitte, who had been overseeing affairs at Blockbuster after it filed for bankruptcy protection (opens in new tab) back in January.

"This transaction provides Blockbuster a future in the UK," said Lee Manning, joint administrator for Deloitte.

The sale is expected to preserve Blockbuster's present retail estate, comprised of 264 stores, and help save some 2,000 British jobs. Blockbuster was one of a number of recent UK high street casualties, following fellow retailers Jessops and HMV into administration at the start of the year. At the time, it had 528 stores and more than 4,100 staff.

It is understood that Gordon Brothers will persevere with the Blockbuster brand, with the investment and restructuring specialist promising to invest "significantly" in its new acquisition.

"We know that we have a challenge ahead but there is still a market to be served. Blockbuster has a strong brand affinity and we believe that with the right mix of new product offering, new technologies, strategic management and marketing, we can bring new life to this high street staple," commented Frank Morton, CEO of Gordon Brothers Europe.

Blockbuster's woes are regarded as rooted in the rise of VoD services like Netflix and LoveFilm, which allow users to stream films and TV shows straight to their living room. There's no leaving the house to trek to the local high street, meaning that the middleman role of rental chains like Blockbuster has been effectively cut out.

For more on streaming services, check out our Netflix vs LoveFilm comparison. (opens in new tab)

James is a freelance editor, journalist, and writer with 10+ years experience in digital media, SEO and news writing. He has produced content on a number of Future sites, including TechRadar, ITProPortal, Tom's Guide, and T3, and was Senior Staff Writer at ITProPortal.