A DEAL has been struck to save HMV by buying the iconic retail chain’s debt.
Hiclo, (OK) which is a retail restructuring specialist, took effective control of the music and DVD retailer, which has a store in Basingstoke’s Festival Place, on Tuesday. (Jan 22) HMV’s debt was estimated to be about £176million, although it is believed that Hilco paid much less than this to acquire the well known and much loved chain.
Music labels, film studios, including Universal Music, were said to be in favour of a buyout of HMV by Hilco.
The specialist which already owns HMV Canada, bought the retailer’s debt from its lenders Lloyds Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland.
HMV has been a victim of stiff competition from supermarkets and online rivals along with illegal music and film downloads.
It went into administration last Tuesday (Jan 15) which put over 4,120 jobs at risk in 223 stores around the country.
Prior to the deal, it was reported that as many as 50 parties were interested in acquiring parts of HMV, including Basingstoke headquartered video games retailer Game.
The company based in Telford Road, Houndmills, confirmed that its chief executive Martyn Gibbs had approached the administrators, Deloitte for information about acquiring an unspecified number of stores.
Game itself was bought out of administration by investment firm OpCapita last year – the owner of the ill fated electrical goods chain Comet, that ceased trading last month.
Mr Gibbs took over the helm of Game last May and has been charged with transforming the fortunes of the company that has around 300 stores across the UK, including one in Festival Place, close to the shopping centre’s HMV store.
Upbeat Mr Gibbs said Game’s Christmas trading was “ahead of expectations” and is confident the company will hit an earnings target of £20million before tax by the end of its tax year in July.