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Hilco now the only HMV bidder, though not clear if deal will be done before rent day deadline

By | Published on Thursday 21 March 2013

HMV

So, it’s been assumed for a while that this week is something of a deadline for the Deloitte administrators trying to rescue HMV, because next Monday is the big quarterly rent day, the first since the entertainment retailer collapsed, and in the ideal world any deal to sell the company would be done by that date.

It’s also been assumed pretty much since HMV fell into administration that HMV Canada owner Hilco would snap up the HMV UK business, albeit in streamlined form, the restructuring specialist having bought up most of the company’s bank debts, meaning it is now in talks with Deloitte as both bidder and creditor.

Many of those assumptions remain, in that, despite those recent reports ASDA might put in a rival bid for the HMV business, and a Deloitte-penned update that revealed there had been 33 expressions of interest in some or all of the company, insiders say only Hilco is in serious talks to buy the firm and, not only that, but negotiations are moving at full pace with an eye on this weekend’s deadline.

However, says The Independent, “there is no guarantee a sale will happen”, and the quarterly rent day deadline isn’t as make-or-break as some have indicated, because HMV renegotiated many of its rents to be paid monthly, and for those still on a quarterly payment, it’s too late to get out of the next quarter’s rent obligations. Plus all the loss-making stores have already been shut down.

Though that doesn’t mean we won’t get some sort of announcement imminently, if only because us citing The Independent’s sources as playing down the 25 Mar deadline is just the sort of thing that will result in a confirmation of sale arriving on the wire the minute this story is published.

So keep watching this space. Though don’t get disappointed if there’s no major news by Sunday night, as many had originally expected.



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