Music industry may come to rescue of HMV

First published in News

Music labels and film studios are reportedly planning to throw their weight behind a rescue deal for collapsed retailer HMV.

Entertainment giants including Universal Music, Warner Music and Sony are planning to offer HMV suitors generous credit terms and cut the price of CDs and DVDs to help keep HMV's presence on the high street, according to The Sunday Times.

They are fearful the demise of HMV - the last specialist music and entertainment retail chain - will lead to even more pressures on the industry as supermarkets and online firms such as Amazon compete to slash prices.

It is thought turnaround group Hilco - which already ownsHMV Canada - is currently among the favourites to rescueHMV and is said to have been locked in talks with administrators Deloitte on Friday.

At stake is the group's 92-year-old heritage, more than 4,120 jobs and 223 stores.

There was pain for 760 staff at failed DVD and games rental firm Blockbuster yesterday when administrator Deloitte announced it was closing 129 of its 528 stores in the coming weeks.

Both firms hit the wall within 24 hours of each other last week in a devastating blow for Britain's retail sector .

But there are around 50 potential suitors circling HMV and its chief executive Trevor Moore has said he is "convinced" that the chain's future can be secured.

Game, which was bought out of administration itself last April, has confirmed it is interested in buying stores.

It did not reveal how many shops it was looking at acquiring, but reports suggest it could bid for up to 45 in locations where it does not yet have a presence.

Other potential bidders are thought to include private equity firm Endless, which is the group that bought The Works out of administration, and private equity veteran Jon Moulton through his Better Capital firm.

Hilco has already helped turn around sales at HMV's Canadian arm since it bought the business in 2011.

It is best known for its recent rescue of the furnishings group Habitat, while it also owns the Denby pottery firm.

Support from suppliers would be crucial to a revival of HMV to fight against the might of supermarkets and internet rivals.

HMV bosses last week praised the "amazing support" of suppliers, which came toHMV's rescue in January 2011 with a deal which helped the retailer shed some of its huge debt pile.

Universal also has another vested interest in seeing HMV survive - it inherited the liability for rent for 16 HMV stores when it acquired EMI last year

Comments (2)

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7:32pm Mon 21 Jan 13

Citizen Cane says...

You can't buck the market. Virtually everything that HMV sells is available on-line at a lower price, so consumers will gravitate there. Wasn't that why they got into trouble in the first place?
You can't buck the market. Virtually everything that HMV sells is available on-line at a lower price, so consumers will gravitate there. Wasn't that why they got into trouble in the first place? Citizen Cane
  • Score: 0

9:22pm Mon 21 Jan 13

Count de Monet says...

HMV didn't just sell via there high street stores, they have been selling CDs & DVDs online for years. What they should have done was to build up the online side of their business starting at least 10 years ago.
HMV didn't just sell via there high street stores, they have been selling CDs & DVDs online for years. What they should have done was to build up the online side of their business starting at least 10 years ago. Count de Monet
  • Score: 0

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