Blockbuster Inc. (NYSE: BBI) today announced that it has offered to acquire Circuit City Stores, Inc. (NYSE: CC) for at least $6.00 per share in cash, subject to due diligence. The offer was made in a letter sent to Circuit City Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Philip Schoonover on February 17th on behalf of the Blockbuster Board of Directors, which fully supports the offer. Unfortunately, to date, Circuit City has failed to provide due diligence necessary to allow Blockbuster to make a definitive proposal. Blockbuster is making its proposal public because it believes the shareholders of Circuit City should have the opportunity to participate in determining the destiny of the company. In addition, as Blockbuster has other strategic opportunities, its offer is conditioned upon timely commencement of the due diligence process.
Blockbuster noted the combination of the two companies would result in an $18 billion global retail enterprise uniquely positioned to capitalize on the growing convergence of media content and electronic devices. The transaction would allow both companies to benefit from the revenue growth generated by their complementary products, while the resulting synergies would substantially improve consolidated financial performance, thereby increasing shareholder value.
Blockbuster Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jim Keyes said, “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.”
Mr. Keyes continued, “At Blockbuster, we have successfully deployed a series of strategic initiatives designed to provide our customers with convenient access to media content. These strategic initiatives have already improved our financial results. Driven by strong performance in our domestic same-store revenues, we expect first quarter 2008 adjusted EBITDA to be approximately $110 million versus $23 million for the same period last year. Additionally, net income for the first quarter of this year should be $30 million compared to a net loss of $49 million for the first quarter of 2007. These results are a clear demonstration that our strategy is working. We look forward to engaging in further conversations with Circuit City and reaching an agreement as soon as possible.”
The full text of Blockbuster’s February 17 letter to Circuit City follows.
February 17, 2008
Mr. Philip J. Schoonover
Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer
Circuit City Stores, Inc.
9950 Mayland Drive
Richmond, VA 23233
Since early December, we have had a number of conversations regarding the potential combination of our businesses. As a follow-up to those discussions, I would like to formally reiterate our interest in pursuing an acquisition of Circuit City. The purpose of this letter is to ensure that there is no ambiguity and to outline our proposal.
Our vision for the “new” Blockbuster is to be the most convenient source for media entertainment. We have undertaken a series of strategic initiatives including enhancement of our core rental business; a transition from solely rental to a concentration on consumer retail; and development of the fast-growing digital download market. We are pleased that these strategic initiatives have begun to improve our financial results and anticipate further improvement going forward.
The combination of Blockbuster and Circuit City will result in an $18 billion retail enterprise uniquely positioned for the convergence of media content and electronic devices. We would seek to differentiate products in both Blockbuster and Circuit City stores by offering exclusive content and content-enabled devices. Both companies would benefit from complementary products, marketing, management strengths, technology and distribution and the resulting synergies would significantly improve consolidated financial performance. Overall, I strongly believe that a combination of Blockbuster and Circuit City would deliver significant value to our respective shareholders, enhance the overall customer experience, and energize our employees.
Based on our review of publicly available information, we are confident that we can provide a substantial premium to your shareholders with an all cash offer in the range of $6.00 to $8.00 per share, subject to due diligence. We are also willing to pursue alternative structures which would enable Circuit City shareholders to receive stock and participate in what we believe would be an exciting future for the combined enterprise. Given current debt market conditions, we believe most of the cash necessary would
be generated through the issuance of additional Blockbuster equity, most probably in a rights offering to our existing shareholders. We believe they, and the market, will recognize the merits of this transaction and we are confident that we can raise the required equity. The borrowing capacity of the combined business would provide the remaining cash proceeds.
Time is of the essence and we are focused on minimizing the risk of business disruption. We are prepared to commence a very short due diligence process immediately, on the basis of exclusivity, with the intention of entering into a definitive agreement shortly thereafter. Attached, as an appendix to this letter, you will find a concise list of the most critical due diligence items which we would need to review in order to confirm our final offer. We have reviewed this potential transaction with our board of directors, and it is with their full support that we make this request to move forward. Given the importance of this opportunity to Blockbuster and the strong desire to complete it as soon as possible, we would be grateful for your response no later than 5:00 PM CST on February 21, 2008.
Again, I thank you for the time you have spent discussing this opportunity with me. I am prepared to discuss the details of this proposal at your earliest convenience and believe that we will be able to quickly come to a mutually beneficial agreement. I look forward to working together on this exciting opportunity.
Very truly yours,
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer