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HMV makes bid for MAMA

By | Published on Wednesday 23 December 2009

HMV has made a bid to buy the MAMA Group, and bosses at the live music and artist management firm have given it their backing.

HMV and MAMA are already business partners, of course, co-owning the Mean Fiddler network of venues. When that partnership was formed at the start of the year, insiders said an all out purchase of MAMA by HMV was also discussed.

Reports of such a deal reappeared earlier this month when MAMA management knocked back a takeover bid by Luxembourg-based investment firm SMS Finance. Both HMV and the top MAMA team were reportedly keen to stop SMS from getting control of the music firm. Talk of HMV buying MAMA gained more credibility when it was revealed the former had bought a 9.9% stake in the latter.

Confirming that HMV had now made a £46 million bid for MAMA, the retailer issued a statement this morning saying: “The acquisition of MAMA builds on the successful platform created by the formation of Mean Fiddler Group Limited in January 2009 and represents a further significant step for HMV as it continues the transformation of the HMV business begun in 2007. HMV believes it will be able to accelerate the growth of the live venues and the festivals business by bringing them under its ownership and will also be able to drive further cost and revenue synergies out of operating them alongside HMV’s existing businesses”.

Meanwhile a lengthy document from MAMA outlining the takeover proposals confirmed “the directors of MAMA intend unanimously to recommend that MAMA shareholders accept the offer, as they have irrevocably undertaken to do in respect of their own beneficial shareholdings”.

HMV has spent much of the last year diversifying its operations into areas of the music and entertainment industry other than high street retail, that being very much in decline, of course. MAMA is arguably a clever acquisition in order to further this strategy, as a company which has been busy for sometime expanding its operations in the more profitable areas of the music business, including venue management, tour and festival promotions, artist and producer management, and brand partnerships.