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Restructuring company possibly looking to acquire HMV debt

By | Published on Tuesday 19 June 2012


At least one so-called ‘turnround’ firm is interested in buying some of HMV’s debts, perhaps with a view to gaining some control over the flagging entertainment retailer, according to the Mail On Sunday.

Hilco has been tipped as a possible bidder for HMV outright in the past, and bought the firm’s Canadian business last year. The Mail reckons that the company is now speaking to some of the HMV Group’s reported eight moneylenders about buying the retailer’s debts off them. Such a deal could, the paper says, given Hilco influence over management decisions at the retail group.

Though quite how much influence isn’t clear, and at least two of HMV’s current money lenders have said they are not looking to offload any of the retailer’s debts. It’s thought the CD and DVD seller, which made a loss in the region of £10 million last year, currently has debts in the region of £175 million, and is now locked in talks with bankers about agreeing yet another new deal in relation to the money owed, with the hope of having new agreements in place sometime next month.

As previously reported, HMV will likely raise £32 million through the sale of the Hammersmith Apollo venue to a subsidiary of AEG Live. It’s thought talks are ongoing regards the sale of the rest of HMV’s live music assets, aka the MAMA Group, with a division of Lloyds Bank recently linked to a bid to buy that business, which may or may not be in turn linked to previous reports of a management buy out.

HMV also recently offloaded its stake in a loss-making e-books company called Anobii to Sainsburys. That deal didn’t raise any cash for the entertainment retail firm, but presumably reduced liabilities.

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