Sole bidder in the frame as decision on HMV's fate draws near

The future of HMV, the failed entertainment chain, is likely to be decided over the coming days.

The retail restructuring specialist Hilco is now the sole bidder seeking to acquire HMV, its brand and about 130 of the chain's original 220 stores in a deal worth more than £50m. But there is no guarantee a sale will happen.

Hilco, which bought HMV Canada in 2011, has been in the driving seat to acquire the UK retailer since it bought its debt at a hefty discount in January, following Deloitte's appointment as administrator.

There has been speculation that the accountancy firm has to sell HMV before midnight on Sunday ahead of the second-quarter rent bill falling due on 25 March. But this deadline is understood not to be critical. This is partly because many of HMV's stores are now on monthly rents, and also because whenever a retailer's stores remain open after rent day – as they will at HMV next week – its rental payments have to be met. All parties declined to comment.

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