Blockbuster courts press

DALLAS and RICHMOND, VA: Blockbuster directly reached out to the media after making its public offer to acquire Circuit City at $6 per share in cash.

DALLAS and RICHMOND, VA: Blockbuster directly reached out to the media after making its public offer to acquire Circuit City at $6 per share in cash.

The company invited the media to spend time speaking with CEO, Jim Keyes, after issuing an early morning press release on the offer April 14. It also held a one-hour analyst call and hosted a 25-minute conference call between Keyes and wire service reporters to explain the deal.

During a weekly face-to-face meeting with corporate employees, Keyes discussed the proposal and made his recorded comments available to store employees. The company says the deal would give the combined company a unique imprint on the marketplace and create a global business worth $18 billion. Blockbuster says it went public because Circuit City did not respond to the offer when it was made on February 17.

“Circuit City failed to provide the due diligence necessary to allow Blockbuster to make a definitive proposal, so we made the proposal public so that shareholders of Circuit City would have the opportunity to participle in determining the destiny of the company,” wrote Karen Raskopf, SVP of corporate communications for Blockbuster, in an e-mail.

Circuit City countered that it will not respond until it has more information about financing. It says that it is also keeping its employees in the loop about developments.

“Consistent with our culture and established practices, we maintain an active dialogue with our employees at all times to ensure they have the information they need to best perform their jobs, and we are continuing to do so at this time,” wrote Bill Cimino, director of corporate communications for Circuit City, in an e-mail.

Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher is working with Circuit City on the situation.

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