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DALLAS-Blockbuster Inc. plans to launch an $11.50 per share, cash tender offer to shareholders for Hollywood Entertainment next month in the latest move to acquire its largest competitor. Locally based Blockbuster first announced its intention to acquire Hollywood in a $1-billion deal last month.

Blockbuster, the largest specialty movie-rental chain with 9,000 stores, would also be willing to offer a higher price for Portland, OR-based Hollywood if it receives certain financial information on the retailer. But Hollywood’s board of directors has yet to release those figures, Blockbuster officials say.

If Blockbuster, favored by some analysts to complete the deal, is able to acquire Hollywood, it would add about 2,000 stores to its portfolio. Blockbuster officials have said if they’re able to buy Hollywood, the acquisition would help their company “compete in the rapidly changing home entertainment environment,” but have released few details about their potential plans for the chain. For instance, they have not said whether they intend to change the name of the Hollywood stores and fold them into their current chain.

Blockbuster’s offer follows private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners’ $10.25 per share agreement earlier this year to purchase Hollywood. Then, after Blockbuster made its offer, Dothan, AL-based Movie Gallery proposed to buy Hollywood for an amount it would not disclose. The Leonard Green bid was originally $14 per share, but the firm lowered the offer to $10.25 per shae after financing issues.

Meanwhile, Blockbuster announced earlier this month that it would eliminate late fees at all of its company-owned stores by Jan. 1, a move widely seen as the company bowing to pressure from late fee-free competitors such as Netflix. To fund the late fee removal, the company will reduce its number of new store openings and remodels.

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