* Says a number of parties indicate interest in HMV Live
* Says strategic review of unit is ongoing
LONDON, March 15 (Reuters) - Entertainment retailer HMV said a number of parties had indicated they were interested in acquiring its concert and festival division, HMV Live, raising hopes about a potential disposal which could help the struggling firm cut its debt.
HMV on Thursday noted recent press speculation and confirmed that a strategic review of its profitable HMV Live business was ongoing but said that there was no certainty a deal would be concluded.
Several British media reports on Wednesday said AEG, the owner of London’s O2 music venue, was one of the suitors for HMV Live, which operates over a dozen music venues in Britain including the Hammersmith Apollo.
HMV said in December that it believed it could recoup more than the 60 million pounds ($94.1 million) it paid for HMV Live in 2009, and that any proceeds from a sale would be used to cut its debt ahead of a refinancing due in 2013.
The struggling retailer cut a deal with its banks in January to help it survive after warning at the end of last year that it was in danger of going out of business, hurt by a downturn in consumer spending and intense competition from digital downloading and internet retailers.
Shares in HMV closed at 5 pence on Wednesday, valuing the firm at 21.2 million pounds.