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UPDATE 1-HMV to sell Hammersmith Apollo for 32 mln stg
* To sell Hammersmith Apollo to Stage C Ltd for 32 mln stg
* HMV amends 220 mln stg bank facility, extends to 30 Sept 2014
* Says sale will ensure strong future for group
LONDON, May 31 (Reuters) - Struggling British entertainment retailer HMV Group said on Thursday it had agreed to sell its London Hammersmith Apollo live entertainment venue for 32 million pounds ($49.25 million) to Stage C Limited.
HMV, which earlier this month forecast a worse than expected loss for the 2011/12 year, said the sale - which is subject to shareholder approval - would allow the group to amend its existing 220 million pound bank facility and extend it to Sept. 30, 2014.
"The Hammersmith Apollo is an iconic London venue and it has been a privilege to own it over the last three years. However, the sale will enable HMV to extend its bank facilities, strengthen its capital structure and ensure a strong future for the group," HMV Chief Executive Simon Fox said in a statement.
The west London venue plays host to leading acts from music, comedy, opera and ballet circuits.
The group said proceeds from the disposal, which is expected to be completed no later than the end of August, would be used in part to reduce its outstanding debt.
Stage C Ltd is jointly owned by Ansco Music Club Limited, a company within the Anschutz Entertainment Group and getgo Consulting GmbH, a company within CTS EVENTIM AG.
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