Early Briefing: Blockbuster Drops Circuit City Bid


Circuit City has been under pressure from Mark Wattles, who owns a 6.5 percent stake in the company, to put itself on the auction block. (Marv Bondarowicz - Associated Press)

*Blockbuster abandoned its efforts to acquire Richmond-based Circuit City less than two months after the electronics retailer reluctantly agreed to open its books to the company. In a statement, Blockbuster cited the completion of its due diligence and market conditions as reasons for dropping the deal.

"We have determined that it is not in the best interest of Blockbuster's shareholders to proceed with an acquisition of Circuit City," said Jim Keyes, Blockbuster's chief executive.

Circuit City said it is continuing to explore strategic alternatives and that its review of the possibilities was not contingent on a deal with Blockbuster. It has not set a deadline for completing that review.

*Sports apparel company Under Armour said it is splitting the jobs of president and chief executive to better handle its rapid growth. The Baltimore company appointed David McCreight, former president of clothing retailer Lands' End, as president. He will succeed founder Kevin Plank, who will continue as chairman and chief executive.

McCreight, who will report to Plank, will be responsible for managing the front end of the business, including sales and marketing. Plank will focus on driving domestic and global growth and coordinating sales and marketing with financing and supply chain management, he said.

*Loudoun County supervisors voted to bar themselves from accepting campaign contributions from builders and others with proposals before the board as part of a broad effort to restore public confidence in a body that some have viewed as too close to the development community.

Supervisors voted overwhelmingly for the change, with only Supervisor Eugene A. Delgaudio (R-Sterling) dissenting. Delgaudio said such a policy was tantamount to curbing freedom of expression.

*More than 100 ex-offenders, some recently released from prison, and their families marched through downtown Washington, accusing business leaders of not hiring enough people who have served their time and District officials of not demanding that they do so.

The men and women said that they plan to organize friends and relatives to vote and to lobby for more city services and training programs. D.C. Chamber of Commerce President Barbara Lang was singled out for criticism on a placard that said, "Bar Lang represents the rich. We represent the people."

In a heated exchange in the lobby of her K Street office, Lang told a small group of protesters she invited in to discuss the issue that she was offended by the charge. She said it was easier to create a spectacle than to create more jobs for ex-offenders.

By Terri Rupar  |  July 2, 2008; 5:00 AM ET  | Category:  Morning Brief
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