Blockbuster Sells Mexico Stores for $31 Million

Blockbuster Store - Sign outside -  2010
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TV Azteca sister company Grupo Elektra acquires Dish Network's nationwide rental chain, which includes 320 stores.

MEXICO CITY – Mexican retailer Grupo Elektra has acquired video rental chain Blockbuster Mexico for 408 million pesos (about $31 million). 

The purchase of Dish Network's Blockbuster Mexico circuit, which comprises 320 stores, will allow Elektra to migrate a portion of Blockbuster customers to some of its existing digital platforms and strengthen its entertainment offering.

Among the possible opportunities, Elektra may launch a VOD platform under the Blockbuster brand name, as it now owns rights to the brand for two years.

"We have cutting-edge streaming technology," said Daniel McCosh, spokesman for Elektra parent company Grupo Salinas. "We'll probably be taking advantage of that technology."

Elektra, a sister company of network TV Azteca, also plans to utilize the stores to expand its distribution network of consumer electronics products and financial services.

Current Blockbuster Mexico CEO Eduardo Arguelles will continue to oversee operations under the new ownership.

Blockbuster recently ceased operations in the U.K. and it's shuttering its U.S. retail stores as well. In Mexico, despite rampant piracy and an influx of relatively new streaming service providers, namely Netflix and iTunes, Blockbuster Mexico was one of the most profitable markets for Blockbuster Inc. It currently has 1.6 million registered users.