April 8, 2011, 2:35 PM

Dish Network wins court approval to acquire Blockbuster’s assets

The deal is expected to close April 25.

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It’s now official: what’s left of Blockbuster Inc. is now owned by Dish Network Corp.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York yesterday approved a bid from satellite TV provider Dish Network to acquire the assets of Blockbuster, No. 34 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

Dish, one of several bidders for the assets of Blockbuster, on Tuesday was the winning bidder of a two-day auction and will pay $320.6 million to acquire the company, including Blockbuster.com and its budding digital entertainment delivery business. Dish Network will pay $227 million in cash to acquire the assets and another $93.6 million for other investor- and creditor-related issues.

With court approval now complete, Dish Network, which provides pay TV services via satellite to more than 14.2 million subscribers, expects to close the deal by April 25. “We are pleased to have reached this important milestone in the ongoing transformation of Blockbuster,” says Blockbuster CEO Jim Keyes. “The combination of Dish Network with Blockbuster’s multi-channel offering will ultimately provide our combined subscribers and customers the most convenient access to an outstanding entertainment experience.”

The bidding process began In February when Blockbuster accepted a stalking horse bid of $290 million from a consortium of current investors and note holders that includes Cobalt Video Holdco LLC, a limited liability company formed by funds managed by Monarch Alternative Capital LP, Owl Creek Asset Management LP, Stonehill Capital Management LLC and Värde Partners Inc.

A stalking horse bid is an initial bid on a bankrupt company's assets from an interested buyer chosen by the bankrupt company that sets the floor for minimum acceptable bids. Blockbuster, which has already closed more than 900 stores in recent years, filed for bankruptcy in September.

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