Blockbuster Files For Bankruptcy Protection - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

BUSINESS ALERT: Blockbuster Files For Bankruptcy Protection

NEW YORK — Troubled video-rental chain Blockbuster Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection and said it plans to keep stores and kiosks open as it reorganizes.

The move, long expected and pre-arranged with bondholders, effectively ends an era that Blockbuster dominated — of Americans visiting video-store chains for the latest movie-rental releases.

Increasingly, Americans are watching movies via video subscription services like Netflix Inc., video on demand and vending machine services such as Redbox.

In a submission to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York on Thursday, the company said it reached an agreement with bondholders on a recapitalization plan.

Blockbuster plans to reduce debt from nearly $1 billion to about $100 million or less by swapping debt for equity in a reorganized Blockbuster with bondholders that hold about 80.1 percent of the company's senior notes.

It has received commitments for $125 million in "debtor-in-possession" financing from senior noteholders to repay customers, suppliers and employees during the reorganization.

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