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Published on February 5th, 2019 | by The GC Team

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HMV bought out of administration

HMV, which went into administration in December 2018 following what owners of the ailing chain called a “tsunami” of retail challenges, has been bought out of administration by Canadian company Sunrise Records which secured the deal against competition including Mike Ashley, owner of Sports Direct.  

Sunrise Records will buy 100 HMV stores for an undisclosed sum, saving a reported 1,487 jobs, but 27 stores will close at the cost of some 450 redundancies. Administrator KPMG says staff will be told today which stores will have to close, prior to announcing where the closures will occur.

Doug Putman, owner of Sunrise Records, has a track record of entrepreneurship in Canada. He bought Sunrise Records in 2014, and in 2017 bought HMV’s Canadian business, creating a nationwide chain of some 80 outlets.

Speaking on the BBC Channel 4 Today programme, Mr Putman said HMV was a “fantastic heritage brand,” and the HMV and Fop branding will be retained in the UK. “I feel really lucky to be able to say we continue to call it HMV,” he said. “It is very clear that the customer wants more selection on vinyl, more depth of catalogue. There’s no doubt that online is a big part of overall retail sales. But people like to come into a store, have an experience, talk with someone who understands music, loves music, loves video and entertainment. If you think online is the only future I don’t think that is the case. There is so much you get from coming into a store that you can’t get online.”

HMV went into administration late last year following disappointing Christmas trading. Its then owners, Hilco Capital, a “specialist” in restructuring ailing businesses, was at the time called in the press a “vulture fund” and accused of having taken close to £50 million in fees out of the struggling chain during its 5-year ownership period. HMV paid no corporation tax during that time.

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