HMV, the UK’s last independent music chain, was today rescued just three months after it collapsed into administration.
Restructuring firm Hilco this morning completed the £50m acquisition that saves the HMV brand, 141 stores and about 2,500 jobs.
It has been the front runner to acquire HMV since it acquired the retailer’s debt just days after the 92-year-old firm fell into administration in January under a mountain of debt, spiralling losses and tumbling sales.
Hilco has delivered a turnaround at HMV Canada since it acquired the operation from the British entertainment group in 2011. Paul McGowan, the UK chief executive of Hilco, will become the chairman of HMV. He said: “We have spent a number of weeks negotiating revised terms with landlords and the key suppliers to the business, all of whom have been supportive of our plans to maintain an entertainment retailer on the High Street.” He added: “We hope to replicate some of the success we have had in the Canadian market”.
Hilco has acquired 132 HMV-branded stores and all nine shops that operate under the cut-price music banner, Fopp. However, more than 1,000 jobs will be lost with the eventual closure of 81 HMV stores.
The retailer had debts of £176.1m when it appointed Deloitte as administrator in January. It had been torn apart by the inexorable shift to consumers buying CDs and DVDs online, digital downloading and cut-throat competition on price from the big supermarkets and Amazon.
Hilco currently owns Denby Pottery, previously controlled the now-defunct book chain Borders UK and has advised on many of the High Street’s most-distressed situations from Woolworths to Peacocks over the last decade.
The full list of saved stores
Aberdeen, Ayr, Banbury, Bangor, Basildon, Basingstoke, Bath, Belfast Donegall Arcade, Birmingham Bullring, Blackpool, Bluewater, Bournemouth, Bradford, Brighton Churchill, Bristol Broadmead, Bristol Cribbs, Bromley, Bury, Bury St Edmunds, Cambridge, Canary Wharf, Canterbury, Cardiff, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Cheltenham, Chester, Chichester, Colchester, Coventry, Crawley, Cwmbran, Darlington, Derby, Doncaster, Dundee, East Kilbride, Eastbourne, Edinburgh Fort Retail, Edinburgh Ocean Terminal, Edinburgh Princes Street, Exeter, Bristol (Fopp), Cambridge (Fopp), Covent Garden (Fopp), Edinburgh (Fopp), Glasgow Byres Road (Fopp), Glasgow Union Street (Fopp), Gower Street London (Fopp), Manchester (Fopp), Nottingham (Fopp), Gateshead, Glasgow Argyle, Glasgow Buchanan, Glasgow Fort, Gloucester, Grimsby, Guernsey, Guildford, Hanley, Harlow, Harrogate, Hastings, Hatfield, Hereford, High Wycombe, Horsham, Hull, Inverness, Ipswich, Isle of Man, Isle of Wight, Islington, Jersey, Kettering, Kings Lynn, Kingston, Leamington Spa, Leeds Headrow, Leeds White Rose, Leicester, Lincoln, Liverpool One, Livingston, Llandudno, Maidstone, Manchester 90 Market Street, Manchester Trafford, Mansfield, Merry Hill, Middlesbrough, Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newport (Wales), Northampton, Norwich Gentlemans Walk, Norwich Chapelfield, Nottingham Victoria, Nuneaton, Oxford, Oxford Circus, Peterborough Queensgate, Plymouth Drake Circus, Poole, Portsmouth Commercial Road, Portsmouth Gun Wharf Quay, Preston, Reading Oracle, Romford, Selfridges Oxford Street, Sheffield High Street, Sheffield Meadowhall, Shrewsbury, Solihull, Southampton, Southend Victoria, Southport, Speke Park, Staines, Stevenage, Stirling, Stockport, Stratford upon Avon, Stratford City Westfield, Sunderland, Sutton, Swansea, Taunton, Thanet, Thurrock, Truro, Tunbridge Wells, Uxbridge, Westfield London, Wimbledon, Winchester, Wolverhampton, Worcester, Worthing, Yeovil, York.