SK Telecom May Acquire Blockbuster to Bolster Mobile Content

According to somewhat surprising reports, it is believed that SK Telecom, South Korea’s top mobile carrier, is considering an acquisition or otherwise substantial investment in the bankrupt video rental giant Blockbuster Video.

“We are looking at many opportunities overseas,” the official told Reuters on a basis of anonymity. “But no details have been decided.”

The move comes at a time when the Asian-based mobile operator is looking to rapidly expand its investment opportunities overseas while also bolstering its mobile content, something a Blockbuster bid could conceivably provide.

The news about the potential Blockbuster investment, previously reported by the New York Post, came as a surprise to some analysts, who raised doubts about the outlook for the movie rental business.

“We are slightly perplexed by (SK Telecom’s interest) because no immediate synergies come to mind and the required restructuring of the company could be very costly,” CLSA analyst David Lee said. “A consummated Blockbuster deal would be quite negative due to the large size of the company and its declining business.”

Neither Blockbuster or SK Telecom have formally commented on the speculation.