Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Hilco rescues HMV, saving 2500 jobs


Restructuring specialist Hilco has acquired the business and certain assets of entertainment retailer HMV, saving some 2,500 jobs, it has been confirmed today.

Hilco will now take charge of 141 stores, of which 25 had been planned for closure by administrators Deloitte and the company has also included nine Fopp stores in the deal.

HMV‘s UK arm will now be run by the Hilco team, led by former CEO of the Steinhoff Group Ian Topping and Investment Director Henry Foster, who will operate alongside existing management, while Hilco CEO Paul McGowan has been appointed Chairman of the new business.

Commenting on the move, McGowan said: “We have spent a number of weeks negotiating revised terms with landlords and the key suppliers to the business, all of whom have been supportive of our plans to maintain an entertainment retailer on the high street.”

HMHMV plunged into administration in January after difficult market conditions affected trade while the retailer‘s debt to lenders continued to mount and this deal ends months of speculation over the future of the company.

Hilco also confirmed that negotiations continue with “a number” of landlords as it seeks to re-establish the retailer in the Republic of Ireland following the closure of the business by Receivers after their appointment.

Topping commented: “This is an exciting investment for the Hilco team and we will be able to use some of the developments already progressed in Canada to restore HMV to health .

“We intend to reverse the earlier decisions to sell tablets and other devices in the stores and to reclaim the space for an enhanced music and visual range.”

“The reaction of the British public to the administration of HMV shows a strong desire for the business to continue to trade and we hope to play a constructive part in delivering that.”

Deloitte also expressed delight at the deal and highlighted the unwavering popularity of the retailer, with Nick Edwards, Joint Administrator, noting: “The sale of the restructured portfolio secures the employment of 2,643 staff, saves one of the world‘s most iconic retail brands and provides a solid financial footing on which the business can be taken forward.

“We wish the Hilco UK and HMV teams every success with the business. I would like to thank all those stakeholders that have worked with us during the administration, but in particular the staff, suppliers and landlords for their support in making this deal possible.”