Circuit City to give Blockbuster a peek

Will open its books for the rental chain

Blockbuster, with backing from some wealthy interested parties, has convinced Circuit City to open its books so that the video rental chain can determine whether it should acquire the consumer electronics retailer.

In April, Blockbuster said it would pay $6-$8 per share for Circuit City, though only after it is allowed to accomplish its due diligence, which was hampered by Circuit City's decision not to share its financial secrets, arguing that Blockbuster couldn't afford the more than $1 billion price tag anyway. That changed Friday, though, when financier Carl Icahn, the largest Blockbuster shareholder, said he was prepared to buy Circuit City himself if need be.

Shares of Circuit City rose 6% Friday to $5.07 and continued higher in after-hours trading. Blockbuster shares fell slightly and are down 15% since Blockbuster made its play for Circuit City known April 14.