Mexican retail chain Elektra to close buy of local Blockbuster

MEXICO CITY Fri Jan 3, 2014 2:33pm EST

MEXICO CITY Jan 3 (Reuters) - Mexican retail chain Elektra, owned by businessman Ricardo Salinas, will complete its purchase of local video and games rental company Blockbuster next week, according to people close to the deal.

Mexico's Federal Economic Competition Commission last month gave Elektra the go ahead to buy Blockbuster's video and videogame sales and rental business in Mexico, and Elektra plans to revamp the business as an on-demand digital video service, the people said on Friday.

Elektra mainly sells domestic appliances, mobile phones and other household goods, often on financing provided through its banking unit Banco Azteca.

Dish Network, which acquired Blockbuster in a bankruptcy auction in 2011, said in its third-quarter report that it put the Mexican unit up for sale.

Dish Network wrote down its Blockbuster Mexico assets by $21 million, representing estimated fair value less selling costs, according to a regulatory filing.

Blockbuster Mexico had revenue of $117.7 million in the first nine months of 2013, according to the filing.

Elektra could not immediately be reached for comment on the deal, and no details on price or timing were available.

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