* 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 -
LONDON, Jan 20 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.