Blockbuster offers $1 billion for Circuit City

The video rental chain bids an unsolicited $1 billion to $1.3 billion. The struggling consumer electronics retailer says it is still evaluating the proposal.

Video rental giant Blockbuster on Monday announced it has offered to purchase Circuit City Stores for $6 to $8 per share, or about $1 billion to $1.3 billion.

Blockbuster initially made the proposal on February 17, but says Circuit City has not provided the due diligence it needs to make a more definitive offer. On Monday, Blockbuster decided to go public. In a letter to Circuit City CEO Philip Schoonover, Blockbuster CEO Jim Keyes notes that the two companies have been discussing proposed tie-ups since December.


Blockbuster says the offer is intended to "capitalize on the growing convergence of media content and electronic devices."

"Our proposal offers Circuit City a significant premium to its existing stock price and creates a game-changing retail concept with a sustainable competitive advantage. We believe the combination will result in a compelling consumer proposition that will drive significant revenue and margin enhancements as well as cost synergies," Keyes said in a statement.

Circuit City issued its own statement saying it had received the offer, and was still evaluating its options.

A combination of the two companies would add up to an $18 billion business, according to Blockbuster's calculations. Both companies have struggled in the past year--Circuit City posted a $200 million loss near the end of 2008, and Blockbuster has been fending off Netflix's success in online video rentals, as well as the growing threat of digital movie downloads.

Last week news leaked out that Blockbuster had a set-top box under development that would stream video content directly into homes, which was seen by many as a last-ditch effort to adapt its business.

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