Hilco completes HMV acquisition, 25 stores saved from closure

Restructuring firm Hilco announced its procurement of UK high street retailer HMV from administrators Deloitte. Following protracted negotiations across the last few months, Hilco finalized the acquisition this morning, and in doing so ensured 25 stores previously earmarked for closure are to remain open.

HMV, one of the UK's most prominent high street sellers of games, effectively declared itself bankrupt by entering administration earlier this year. Hilco took on the retailer's debt, while Deloitte announced closures for almost half its outlets, with nearly 1,500 people laid off as a result. Today's news means HMV retains 141 stores and some 2,500 employees.
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Hilco completes acquisition of HMV
April 5th, 2013
Hilco has today completed the acquisition of the business and certain assets of HMV, the iconic entertainment retailer, from its Administrators, Deloitte.

The business includes 141 stores, 25 of which had previously been slated for closure by the Administrators, and approximately 2,500 employees. All nine Fopp stores are also included in the purchase.

Paul McGowan, CEO of Hilco, said: "We have spent a number of weeks negotiating revised terms with landlords and the key suppliers to the business, all of whom have been supportive of our plans to maintain an entertainment retailer on the High Street."

"We hope to replicate some of the success we have had in the Canadian market with the HMV Canada business which we acquired almost two years ago and which is now trading strongly. The structural differences in the markets and the higher level of competition in the UK will prove additional challenges for the UK business but we believe it has a successful future ahead of it."

The HMV UK business will initially be led by a Hilco team working alongside existing management. The Hilco team will be led by Ian Topping, formerly Chief Executive of the Steinhoff Group in the UK, and Henry Foster, an Investment Director at Hilco while Paul McGowan will take up the role of Chairman of the new business.

Ian Topping commented: "This is an exciting investment for the Hilco team and we will be able to use some of the developments already progressed in Canada to restore HMV to health. We intend to reverse the earlier decisions to sell tablets and other devices in the stores and to reclaim the space for an enhanced music and visual range."

"The reaction of the British public to the administration of HMV shows a strong desire for the business to continue to trade and we hope to play a constructive part in delivering that."

Hilco has also confirmed that it is in negotiations with a number of landlords with a view to re-establishing an HMV business in the Republic of Ireland after Receivers there closed the business shortly after their appointment.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.