Mike Ashley seeks 6-month rent holiday for HMV takeover deal

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HMV Sunrise Records
// Mike Ashley reportedly seeking 6-months rent free deal from HMV landlords
// Retail tycoon thought to be one of several suitors bidding to buy retailer out of administration
// Follows a similar public dispute with House of Fraser landlords last year

Mike Ashley is reportedly asking HMV landlords to grant him a “six-month rent holiday” if he were to buy the entertainment retailer out of administration.

According to Sky News, the Sports Direct founder and chief executive told landlords in a letter that he wanted to “preserve as many of its shops and jobs as possible” but in order to do so, he needed their cooperation.

The news comes after it was revealed last week that Ashley was in talks with HMV’s suppliers to possibly acquire the collapsed music and entertainment chain.

It also comes after the retail tycoon’s public dispute with House of Fraser landlords last year.

Sports Direct has not issued a response to the letter sent to HMV landlords.

The music retailer called in administrators from KPMG on December 28 for the second time in six years, plunging the future of 125 stores and 2200 jobs into uncertainty.

HMV blamed a “tsunami” of challenges for its failure such as rising business rates, dwindling footfall and a rapidly changing physical media market due to the increasing popularity of Netflix, Amazon Prime and Spotify.

KPMG have since confirmed that “several” offers had been made for HMV, although their identities remain unclear.

However, there is speculation that the administrators would announce the successful bid sometime this week.

Ashley’s expression of interest in buying HMV out of administration comes he succeeded in similar types of acquisitions with House of Fraser and Evans Cycles in 2018.

Turnaround specialist firm Hilco purchased HMV out of administration in 2013 and remains the retailer’s largest creditor.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. It would be nice to see some one who has had a lot of experience in the music field to take over hmv. richard branson would be the ideal person to take hmv on and turn it’s fortunes around and maybe revive virgin Megga store’s and hmv combined

    • I don’t think even the retail big-wigs could save HMV. When was the last time you bought a DVD or CD full price, or even at all. Granted some people buy vinyls, but not enough to keep a chain the size of HMV going. The format is dead.

      • ERA sales results suggest that in 2018 physical music was worth £383m in the UK while physical Video was worth £616m. I would suggest that you could conclude that physical formats are not dead.

        • I can’t speak for physical video but given that only 65% of that £380 million spent on music is bought at actual physical stores combined with a year-on-year drop of about 15% I think we can safely say it is dying. That 65% also includes the supermarkets.

          A large proportion are compilations, soundtracks or basically Michael Buble CDs. Not exactly a future proof model.

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