Troubled entertainment retailer HMV has been rescued by restructuring specialists Hilco in a £50m deal.
The company has bought the HMV brand, business and 132 stores from administrators Deloitte, along with all nine of the group’s Fopp stores.
The deal could save up to 2,500 jobs and comes almost three months after the iconic entertainment group went into administration.
The chain’s first store opened in London’s Oxford Street in 1921 but in recent years it faced intense competition from online retailers and supermarkets.
Two years ago Hilco took over the HMV Canada business which, with the support of suppliers and major entertainment labels, it has successful transformed into a profitable business.
Hilco CEO Paul McGowan says the firm was hoping to replicate that success with the UK business.
However McGowan added that: “The structural differences in the markets and the higher level of competition in the UK will prove additional challenges for the UK business” but said his believed HMV “as a successful future ahead of it.”
The HMV UK business will initially be led by a Hilco team working alongside existing management.
The Hilco team will be led by Ian Topping, formerly Chief Executive of the Steinhoff Group in the UK, and Henry Foster, an Investment Director at Hilco while Paul McGowan will take up the role of Chairman of the new business.
Mr Topping commented: “This is an exciting investment for the Hilco team and we will be able to use some of the developments already progressed in Canada to restore HMV to health. We intend to reverse the earlier decisions to sell tablets and other devices in the stores and to reclaim the space for an enhanced music and visual range.”
“The reaction of the British public to the administration of HMV shows a strong desire for the business to continue to trade and we hope to play a constructive part in delivering that.”
Hilco has opened negotiations with a number of landlords in the Republic of Ireland with a view to re-establishing an HMV business there after Receivers there closed the business.