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UPDATE 1-HMV says received interest in HMV Live business
March 15, 2012 / 7:55 AM / in 6 years

UPDATE 1-HMV says received interest in HMV Live business

* 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.

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