Hilco flies in HMV savior Ian Topping to help turnaround Homebase

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HMV’s former chief executive Ian Topping has been brought in by Homebase in the hopes he can deliver a turnaround.

Topping has been appointed as non-executive chairman by Homebase’s owner Hilco Capital, which also owns HMV.

It is hoped that Topping can repeat the turnaround he brought about at HMV, taking the company from near collapse back to profitability during his five-year tenure as chief executive.

The embattled DIY retailer was purchased by Hilco Capital in June for just £1 after a disastrous attempt by Australian retail conglomerate Wesfarmer’s to use it as a springboard into the UK market.

After purchasing the company in 2016, Wesfarmers began to convert Homebase stores to its Bunnings fascia, resulting in a loss on the disposal of between £200 million to £230 million and forcing it to jump ship and sell the UK arm of company to Hilco for £1.

In August Homebase’s board approved a CVA, in which 42 stores are due to close, as part of Hilco’s plan to return the company to profitability within three years.

“Homebase has been a mainstay of UK and Ireland retail for over 40 years and I am very pleased to join as chairman,” Topping, who stepped down from his role as HMV chief executive in April, said.

“The challenges Homebase has faced in recent years have been well documented. However, it continues to have a unique market position and there is huge potential for the business to return to a position of strength.”

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