You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Pair’s fate to mate

Blockbuster, Hollywood nearing the altar

NEW YORK — It’s looking more and more like a white Christmas for Blockbuster and Hollywood Video –as in nuptials, arranged or not.

Blockbuster shares shot up in trading Thursday after Hollywood chairman-CEO Mark Wattles said his hopes of engineering a private buyout are fast fading, meaning Blockbuster could well emerge as the winning suitor in the auction of Hollywood.

Comment came less than 48 hours after billionaire corporate raider Carl Icahn revealed that he has bought up enough shares to make him the single largest shareholder in both vidtailers.

Wall Street believes Icahn wants to force the sale of Hollywood to rival Blockbuster.

Wattles told Dow Jones Newswires that he no longer believes his agreement with Leonard Green & Partners to conduct a private buyout of Hollywood will prevail in the face of bids by Blockbuster or Movie Gallery.

Analysts attributed Blockbuster’s happy-go-lucky ride on the market Thursday to increasing certainty that it will be Blockbuster that buys Hollywood, marking a new chapter in the limping and lethargic video rental business.

Blockbuster shares were up a healthy 6.61% to close at $10.16. Hollywood Video was down 1.06% to close at $13.06.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday, Icahn disclosed that he has acquired about 9.9 million shares of Blockbuster, making him the largest shareholder.

The hostile takeover artist made headlines late last month when he revealed he’d accumulated an 8.4% stake in Hollywood Video. Now he’s upped his stake to 9.5%, making him the single largest shareholder in that vidtailer as well.

Icahn said in the SEC filing that Blockbuster shares are undervalued given the possibility of a merger.

Blockbuster said it appreciated “Mr. Icahn’s vote of confidence,” but offered no further comment.

Separately, Blockbuster announced this week that it will eliminate late fees beginning in the New Year — a move that takes direct aim at online movie rental service Netflix and cable video-on-demand.

More Digital

  • Tyler Oakley

    Tyler Oakley Launches LGBTQ Event Series on YouTube for Pride Month

    NEW YORK — It’s looking more and more like a white Christmas for Blockbuster and Hollywood Video –as in nuptials, arranged or not. Blockbuster shares shot up in trading Thursday after Hollywood chairman-CEO Mark Wattles said his hopes of engineering a private buyout are fast fading, meaning Blockbuster could well emerge as the winning suitor […]

  • Dylan Jordan, Summer Mckeen

    Snapchat Sets Docu-Drama Series From Bunim-Murray (EXCLUSIVE)

    NEW YORK — It’s looking more and more like a white Christmas for Blockbuster and Hollywood Video –as in nuptials, arranged or not. Blockbuster shares shot up in trading Thursday after Hollywood chairman-CEO Mark Wattles said his hopes of engineering a private buyout are fast fading, meaning Blockbuster could well emerge as the winning suitor […]

  • Scopely founders

    Mobile-Games Company Scopely Raised Additional $100 Million for Acquisitions, Investments

    NEW YORK — It’s looking more and more like a white Christmas for Blockbuster and Hollywood Video –as in nuptials, arranged or not. Blockbuster shares shot up in trading Thursday after Hollywood chairman-CEO Mark Wattles said his hopes of engineering a private buyout are fast fading, meaning Blockbuster could well emerge as the winning suitor […]

  • Common, Lena Waithe

    Common, Lena Waithe Join AT&T Hello Lab's Filmmaker-Mentoring Program in Second Year

    NEW YORK — It’s looking more and more like a white Christmas for Blockbuster and Hollywood Video –as in nuptials, arranged or not. Blockbuster shares shot up in trading Thursday after Hollywood chairman-CEO Mark Wattles said his hopes of engineering a private buyout are fast fading, meaning Blockbuster could well emerge as the winning suitor […]

  • Sony Takes Premium Film1 Movies Service

    Sony Takes Premium Film1 Movies Service Direct To Consumer

    NEW YORK — It’s looking more and more like a white Christmas for Blockbuster and Hollywood Video –as in nuptials, arranged or not. Blockbuster shares shot up in trading Thursday after Hollywood chairman-CEO Mark Wattles said his hopes of engineering a private buyout are fast fading, meaning Blockbuster could well emerge as the winning suitor […]

  • At&t Time Warner Stock Index

    Merger Perks! WarnerMedia Employees Treated to 'Robust' Discounts On AT&T Products

    NEW YORK — It’s looking more and more like a white Christmas for Blockbuster and Hollywood Video –as in nuptials, arranged or not. Blockbuster shares shot up in trading Thursday after Hollywood chairman-CEO Mark Wattles said his hopes of engineering a private buyout are fast fading, meaning Blockbuster could well emerge as the winning suitor […]

  • roku

    Roku Plans to Launch Amazon Channels-Like Video Subscription Marketplace (EXCLUSIVE)

    NEW YORK — It’s looking more and more like a white Christmas for Blockbuster and Hollywood Video –as in nuptials, arranged or not. Blockbuster shares shot up in trading Thursday after Hollywood chairman-CEO Mark Wattles said his hopes of engineering a private buyout are fast fading, meaning Blockbuster could well emerge as the winning suitor […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content