HMV administrators sell stake in GAY nightclub chain to founder

Kasmira Jefford
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HMV has sold its majority stake in G-A-Y Group to its founder Jeremy Joseph, marking the collapsed retailer’s final exit from its music venues business.

Administrators Deloitte said yesterday that Joseph, who founded G-A-Y 20 years ago and grew the business to four gay and lesbian nightclubs including Heaven, has regained full control in a move that safeguards 200 jobs.

The G-A-Y group was the last remaining venues business to be sold after HMV sold its other assets including the Hammersmith Apollo and Mama group last year.

Rob Harding, joint administrator to HMV said the sale “will benefit the creditors of HMV and we wish Mr Joseph the best in the beginning of a new era for G-A-Y.”

The deal comes ahead of a statement expected later this week from Deloitte that it plans to close between 60 and 100 HMV stores, endangering up to 1,500 jobs.

Deloitte axed 190 staff at HMV’s head office and distribution centres last week.

The future of discount fashion retailer Store Twenty One was also thrown into doubt yesterday after the company stopped trading through its website.

The firm, owned by Indian textiles giant Alok could not be reached for comment.