HMV saved by Canada’s Sunrise Records

Daniel Fowler
February 5, 2019

Canadian entrepreneur Doug Puttnam, the owner of Sunrise Records, has agreed the rescue with the joint administrators of HMV.

Yesterday it emerged that the Canadian music retailer, which uses Fleetwood Mac albums to explain its business model, was a leading contender to save the United Kingdom high street store chain.

Details of which stores are destined to be shuttered are not immediately available, but nearly 1,500 store and head office employees will keep their jobs as part of the transition.

"We are delighted to acquire the most iconic music and entertainment business in the United Kingdom".

"By catering to music and entertainment lovers, we are incredibly excited about the opportunity to engage customers with a diverse range of physical format content and replicate".

HMV said despite growing its market share through 2018, the sector expects to see the market fall another 17% in 2019, leading the directors to conclude it can not continue to trade. But 27 locations, employing some 455, will be out of a job.

Putman placed the bid over the weekend, beating out competition including Sports Direct's Mike Ashley, who was in talks to buy the United Kingdom music chain last month. We know the physical media business is here to stay'.

Neil Gostelow, partner at KPMG and joint administrator, added: "We are grateful for the support of all key stakeholders including the suppliers whose support throughout this process has been key in securing this sale".

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HMV became the first high street casualty after Christmas when its then owner Hilco called in corporate undertakers in December.

KPMG was put in charge of finding a buyer for the almost 100-year-old British business after HMV filed for administration in the final days of 2018.

HMV has a number of stores across Lancashire including Preston, Blackpool and Lancaster.

Retail tycoon Mike Ashley had demanded HMV's landlords give him six months of free rent if he took over the collapsed music chain.

He owns more than 60 percent of Sports Direct and has bought companies including Evans Cycles, whole his company also owns stakes in French Connection and Debenhams.

Speculation was mounting that he was plotting a merger between HMV and Game Digital, in which he has a more than 25pc stake.

Management professor Christian Stadler of Warwick Business School says that while it is "excellent" news for those who prefer to buy their music from a shop, rather than streaming or online, it would be foolish to think there is "scope for considerable growth".

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