Business News Retail Top Stories

HMV administrators confirm offers have been made for the business

By | Published on Thursday 17 January 2019


Administrators for HMV say that they have received a number of offers for the flagging entertainment retail business. Accountants at KPMG had set Tuesday as the deadline for anyone interesting in acquiring the company to come forward.

HMV, of course, fell into administration for the second time over the Christmas break. Hilco, which bought the retail firm after it went into administration first time round in 2013, said various factors were behind its decision to bail on the business. This included steep declines in DVD sales, the high costs of business rates on many of its stores and a tough Christmas quarter for UK high street retail across the board.

Although the record industry is not quite so spooked this time about the prospect of losing its last national high street chain – compared to its reaction back in 2013 – obviously no one actually wants to see that happen. If HMV were to shut its doors entirely, that would almost certainly escalate the ongoing decline of the CD format, which is still bringing in decent money for many UK labels despite streaming now being the dominant revenue stream.

Administrator Will Wright at KPMG gave little information yesterday about who the possible bidders to buy and rescue the HMV business are. He said in a statement: “We can confirm that a number of offers on various bases have been received and we now need to evaluate these further over the coming days. Given the commercially sensitive nature of this process, we will not be providing further detail at this time”.

It’s generally thought that, even if a buyer can be found, HMV’s network of stores will be cut again if and when the business comes out of administration, as happened when Hilco took over in 2013. Any new owners would also almost certainly be looking for assistance from their suppliers in the music, home video and gaming industries to help minimise risks and overheads.

As we wait to find out who the bidders are and what plans they might have for HMV, Wright said the administrators would “continue to endeavour to trade all stores while discussions with all the relevant stakeholders continue”.

As for keeping the doors open while those discussions go through the motions, he added: “Since our appointment as joint administrators, we have received significant support from key stakeholders, including employees, suppliers and creditors, as we have endeavoured to trade the HMV business. We’d like to thank everyone for their support during this time, in what remain challenging circumstances”.