LONDON Jan 22 British entertainment retailer
HMV's debt has been bought by Hilco, giving the
restructuring specialist a big say in the fate of the
92-year-old group which sought protection from creditors last
"Hilco UK confirms that it has acquired HMV's debt from the
group's lenders. It has not bought the business itself," Hilco
said on its website on Tuesday.
"Hilco believes there to be a viable underlying HMV business
and will now be working closely with Deloitte who, as
administrators, are reviewing the business to determine future
HMV's business of selling CDs, DVDs and video games has
struggled in declining markets and amid increasing competition
from supermarkets and online retailers such as Amazon.Com Inc
Its move into administration on Jan. 14 put 4,100 jobs at
risk and dealt the latest blow to a retail sector which has seen
a string of household names such as Comet, JJB Sports, MFI, and
Woolworths fall by the wayside.
Hilco, which bought HMV Canada in 2011 and salvaged British
homewares firm Habitat, bought the debt from Lloyds Banking
Group and Royal Bank of Scotland. HMV had 176
million pounds ($279 million) of underlying net debt in October.
Lloyds and RBS declined to comment.
"Stores continue to trade and, at this time, we remain
hopeful of securing a long-term future for HMV as a going
concern," said Nick Edwards at Deloitte.
Deloitte has received over 50 expressions of interest in
HMV, including from private equity firms. Video games seller
Game has said it was interested in some HMV stores.
Hilco had been widely regarded as a frontrunner to take full
control of HMV due to its relationship with music labels and
film studios through its Canadian business.
On Monday, it was appointed to help Deloitte run the
200-stores business during the administration, a source said.