HMV to accept vouchers, administrators upbeat

LONDON Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:43am EST

LONDON Jan 21 (Reuters) - Administrators of HMV said the British music retailer would soon accept gift cards again, adding it was hopeful the firm would remain trading whilst a buyer is sought.

HMV will accept vouchers from Tuesday, Deloitte, appointed administrators last week, said on Monday.

HMV management had been criticised by shoppers for selling vouchers over the key Christmas period so close to its apparent demise and then refusing to accept them once in administration.

Deloitte said the decision to now do so followed a satisfactory assessment of HMV's financial position.

HMV, which has struggled selling DVDs and CDs against cheaper supermarkets and online rivals, has 223 British stores and over 4,000 staff.

Deloitte has said over 50 expressions of interest in the firm have been received, with restructuring specialist Hilco widely regarded as the frontrunner after media reports said it had the backing of music labels and film studios.

Video games seller Game which itself was bought out of administration by investment firm OpCapita last year, has also shown an interest in buying a number of HMV stores.

"We will continue to assess the longer term options for the business whilst continuing to trade. I am hopeful this process will result in the business continuing as a going concern," Deloitte added.

A source close to the situation said Deloitte was unlikely to make any further announcement on HMV on Monday.

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