CMS and Wragges on scene for Blockbuster store sale to Morrisons

Real estate partners at CMS Cameron McKenna and Wragge & Co have led on supermarket group Morrisons’ acquisition of 49 Blockbuster stores from the DVD and video rental company’s UK administrators.

CMS property partner Pranai Karia led for Blockbuster UK’s administrators at Deloitte, who were appointed last month to handle the matter.

Wragges partner Jack Jacovou, who specialises in retail and leisure property, advised Morrisons, which described the deal as part of the expansion of its local convenience arm.

The Bradford-headquartered supermarket chain also acquired seven Jessops stores earlier this year, after the camera retailer filed for administration last month.

Deloitte partner Lee Manning, one of Blockbuster UK’s administrators, said in a statement: “This group of stores forms a proportion of the Blockbuster package announced for closure earlier this week and is expected to be the first of a number of group and individual store transactions to arise from the Blockbuster portfolio given the significant levels of occupier interest for many of the assets.”

Meanwhile, Morrisons has said it will open 70 Morrisons M local stores by the end of 2013, with its convenience stores switching from the current M local brand to Morrisons M local.

It said it hopes to have the new stores trading by the end of the summer.

Background to this deal:

CMS was appointed to advise the administrators of Blockbuster UK, the global group’s British subsidiary, when the high-street outfit filed for administration last month (16 January 2013). Restructuring partner Rita Lowe is advising Manning and fellow Deloitte partners Matthew Smith and Neville Kahn.

Linklaters New York partner Dan Dufner is advising the parent company, Blockbuster LLC, and its owner, Dish Network.