Dish Network Requests More Time to Close Blockbuster Acquisition

NEW YORK - Charlie Ergen's Dish Network on Thursday told a bankruptcy judge that it needs some additional time to close its acquisition of video rental firm Blockbuster, a Dish spokesman said Thursday.

The deal was expected to close as early as Thursday, but may now close on Tuesday.

Dish said it needs some extra time to reach potential agreements with landlords as it continues to evaluate which of about 1,500 store leases to keep.

Dish wants to maximize the number of stores that remain open and the number of employees that remain employed, the Dish spokesman said.

Dish previously filed papers with the bankruptcy court that listed 500-plus stores that it plans to continue operating. The spokesman said Thursday that the current figure was in the 500-600 range.

A bankruptcy judge early this month had declared a $320 million bid from Dish the highest and best offer for Blockbuster following an auction that also included activist shareholder Carl Icahn and others.

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