Blockbuster Canada Starts Closing Outlets

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TORONTO – Blockbuster Canada is to see 146 video stores shuttered in the coming weeks, according to the bankrupt company's court-directed receiver.

Grant Thornton said another 254 Blockbuster Canada stores countrywide will continue to operate as it finds possible buyers.

“The purpose of the store consolidation is to provide Blockbuster Canada Co. with the opportunity to streamline its operations to better position the business for sale,” Michael Creber, a Grant Thornton spokesman, said in a statement.

"While the need to consolidate stores is unfortunate, we are pleased with the level of interest in Blockbuster Canada Co.'s operations expressed by potential purchasers to date," Creber added.

Most of the stores to be shuttered are in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec.

The Blockbuster Canada bankruptcy follows the U.S.-based Blockbuster chain last year offering the Canadian subsidiary as collateral to the home entertainment divisions of Warner Bros., Twentieth Century Fox and Sony Pictures to ensure they kept supplying their product.

The U.S. sale of Blockbuster failed to erase around $67 million owing by Blockbuster Canada to the major studios.

An eventual default on that debt security prompted the major studios to ask an Ontario court to push the Canadian subsidiary into receivership to protect creditor interests.  

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