Film and TV

After Sending Out Proxy Materials, Blockbuster Steps Up Attack on "Dissident Stockholder"

The postman was kind enough to deliver my Blockbuster proxy materials yesterday in advance of this month's board meeting downtown. (I recently bought 100 shares -- it was either that or a pack of smokes.) CEO Jim Keyes, yet again, reminded me vote for his slate of candidates to the board of directors. Didn't see anything in there about not voting for Greg Meyer, the shareholder who's demanding a place at the board of directors' table. Blockbuster's leaving that to the press releases.

Like this one sent moments ago in which the downtown-based company takes yet another shot at Meyer. This release is credited to the entire Blockbuster board of directors, whose members, of course, have a vested interest in keeping their seats at the table. So take from it what you will. But it keeps getting nastier and nastier, as in:

Meyer has stated that he sold his DVD rental kiosk company, DVDXpress, to Coinstar in 2007 and was responsible for the DVDXpress division at Coinstar from 2007 to 2009 when it was merged with Redbox. He then appears to take personal credit for the success of Coinstar's combined DVD kiosk division and a "majority of Coinstar's revenue and EBITDA." These assertions are misleading.

If Meyer is such an expert in the home entertainment industry, or even in the vending segment alone, why then is he not at Coinstar today running the Redbox business? The facts are that DVDXpress was deeply in debt to Coinstar when Coinstar acquired the business, Redbox and DVDXpress were completely separate entities during Meyer's tenure at Coinstar, and Meyer was not integral to the growth of the DVD kiosk business over the last several years.

Pretty sure I know why Blockbuster's in attack mode again: Today Meyer filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission his "Presentation to Blockbuster Shareholders," in which he yet again goes after shareholder Gary J. Fernandes and offers a response to Blockbuster's response.

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky