Blockbuster Puts Itself Up For Sale: A Dream Dies

It's a shame, but no one can honestly say that they didn't see this coming. Blockbuster has been dwindling for years. They simply haven't been "popular" in years, and many younger folks don't even acknowledge their existence. These days, it's all about Netflix, Redbox and streaming media. Even cable TV is becoming a lot like Blockbuster: unnecessary. For years, the idea of renting films and video games from a retail shop made perfect sense. But this was before we had things like broadband Internet everywhere and by-mail DVD rentals. The company has been sliding ever since, and even though they tried the streaming thing themselves, they never really stood a chance against Netflix, who had already grabbed the lion's share of the market by the time Blockbuster woke up.

Now, after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the company is now putting itself up for sale. The previous reorganization plan fell apart, and now they have no option but to sell themselves for whatever anyone is willing to pay. Reportedly, Monarch Alternative Capital, Owl Creek Asset Management, Stonehill Capital Management and Varde Partners — has put in an opening "stalking horse" bid of $290 million. Even that value seems really high to us, but we guess that if this includes stores and real estate, it may be a smart purchase based on that fact alone. The business as a whole, however, seems dead.

If this bid doesn't attract any rival bids, four creditors would end up controlling the company, and who knows how fast it would be dismantled after that. It's sad in a way, but it's not the first time something like this has happened. Circuit City went through a similar ordeal a few years ago, and now Best Buy rules supreme. In 2000, who could've ever imagined that Circuit City would be shut down? The pain of progress strikes again.