The question "Why does Dish Network want Blockbuster?" was asked and answered late last week, though one Friend of Unfair Park suggested, "Twizzlers." Turns out, the Colorado-based Dish wanted it plenty bad -- more than Carl Icahn and the lenders who turned up to take the Renaissance Tower-based Blockbuster off the auction block in New York City. Dish's winning bid, turned in at around 1:30 this morning, was $320 million, give or take a late fee. But as Dish says in its announcement this morning, "after certain adjustments are made at closing of the transaction, including adjustments for available cash and inventory, Dish Network expects to pay approximately $228 million in cash."
Which seems awful cheap for a company that was $900 million in debt when its stock was delisted in last July and when it filed for Chapter 11 last September. Says Tom Cullen, executive vice president of Sales, Marketing, Programming and Microwaves at Dish, "With its more than 1,700 store locations, a highly recognizable brand and multiple methods of delivery, Blockbuster will complement our existing video offerings while presenting cross-marketing and service extension opportunities for Dish Network. While Blockbuster's business faces significant challenges, we look forward to working with its employees to re-establish Blockbuster's brand as a leader in video entertainment."
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The deal's not expected to close till some time in the second quarter, and there's still a stack of complaints to plow through from movie studios and creditors who want to get paid. And through the bankruptcy judge won't officially OK the sale till a hearing tomorrow, that, as they say, is that.