Canadian record store rescues HMV with offer

LONDON • British music retailer HMV has received a last-minute offer from Canada's Sunrise Records to rescue the business from administration, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.

HMV's creditors welcomed the offer, the report said, citing two sources familiar with the talks. It did not provide further financial details of the offer.

Sky News reported last month that billionaire Mike Ashley, who controls British sportswear retailer Sports Direct International and owns English Premier League club Newcastle United, was in talks to rescue HMV from administration.

HMV said in December that it was calling in administrators, blaming a worsening market for entertainment CDs and DVDs, the latest victim of brutal trading conditions in Britain's retail sector.

The retailer, one of Britain's best-known high street stores, went into administration in 2013 before its rescue by restructuring specialist Hilco, but has since been hit by competition from online rivals and music streaming services.

More recently, traditional players in the music industry have been hit by the growing popularity of online streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music, which last year became the recording industry's single biggest revenue source.

Sky News reported earlier that about 2,200 jobs were at risk if HMV went into administration, adding that the company had been in talks with leading names in the recorded music industry for funding, but that those discussions came to nothing.

HMV was opened in London's Oxford Street by English composer Edward Elgar in 1921 and made famous by the image of the "dog and gramophone".

The retailer - which had a hand in The Beatles' big break in the 1960s, recommending the group's demo record to publishers - had about 230 stores and more than 4,000 staff before it went into administration in 2013.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 05, 2019, with the headline 'Canadian record store rescues HMV with offer'. Print Edition | Subscribe