Hilco frontrunner for HMV, music and film industry keen -reports

Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:53pm GMT

Quotes

   

* Over 50 expressions of interest received in HMV - source

* Music and film industry preparing rescue package - paper

* 'Good level of interest' in rental firm Blockbuster - source

LONDON, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Restructuring specialist Hilco is the frontrunner in the battle to save music retailer HMV from administration, British media reported on Sunday.

Hilco, which bought HMV Canada in 2011 and salvaged home goods firm Habitat, is favoured by an industry consortium, said the Sunday Times.

The paper said music labels and film studios, such as Universal, Warner, Sony, and 20th Century Fox were preparing a rescue package, keen to keep the 92-year-old retailer alive.

Options for the suppliers include cutting the prices of discs and giving the retailer generous credit terms, it said.

HMV, which has 223 British stores, is the country's last major specialist high street retailer of CDs and DVDs. It went into administration last week, putting over 4,000 jobs at risk.

Administrators Deloitte have received over 50 expressions of interest in HMV, including from trade and private equity, a source familiar with the situation said. The administrator has been working over the weekend, but assessing all the potential buyers is likely to take some time.

Deloitte is also the administrator of DVD rental firm Blockbuster UK. Deloitte has received "a good level of interest" from potential buyers for Blockbuster, although less than for HMV, the source said, with some interested in buying the stores rather than the business.

The Sunday Times said Deloitte had held talks with about half a dozen parties for Blockbuster, with retailers, such as supermarket chain WM Morrison, circling as they seek new sites for convenience stores.

Morrisons declined to comment.

Blockbuster, owned by U.S. firm Dish Network, went into administration last week and said on Saturday that it was shuttering 129 of its 528 stores in the UK.