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More MAMA movements, might private equity buy HMV?

By | Published on Friday 5 March 2010

So, lots of movements over at the MAMA Group since the departure of one of its top men, Adam Driscoll, last weekend.

First, and perhaps most importantly, HMV basically confirmed its takeover of the live music and management group when it announced on Wednesday it had a commitment to sell from over 90% of the company’s existing shareholders. Under UK company law it can now force the sale of the remaining shares.

With HMV properly in place as MAMA’s owners, the retailer’s top man Simon Fox was formally installed as Chairman of MAMA. Confirming that development to CMU, the remaining MAMA CEO Dean James said: “I am delighted to welcome Simon to the board. His acumen, experience and position within the industry will be fantastic assets to the company as we look to the exciting future which lies ahead for MAMA”.

It remains unclear what impact the takeover will have on MAMA’s operations, though. As previously reported, its main artist management division Supervision will downsize a little, leading to some of its managers (and therefore some of its artists) to depart.

In related news, while the HMV deal stopped MAMA from being snapped up by a private equity outfit, there is now speculation that HMV itself could be bought up by one of those shady equity firms. Because of general pessimism towards the retail sector, and caution regarding Fox’s diversification strategy, HMV’s share price remains relatively low. And, with things not looking entirely doom ridden at the combined HMV/MAMA, some reckon that makes the company ripe picking for the private equity men. Certainly it would be less risky than a private equity firm lining up a deal to, say, buy EMI.