HMV in advanced talks with Waterstone's buyer

TROUBLED music retailer HMV saw its shares soar 12.5 per cent in today’s trading on renewed speculation it has found a bidder for its book chain Waterstone’s.

Shares peaked at 11.25p before closing 7.5 per cent up at 1075p as it confirmed it was in advanced discussions with a bidder believed to be Russian oligarch Alexander Mamut.

Mamut, a six per cent shareholder of HMV, has reportedly tabled a £43m bid for the chain.

He is thought to be acting in partnership with Tim Waterstone, a founder of the chain, who has repeatedly expressed interest in buying the bookstores.

HMV said in a statement that it “notes the recent press speculation and confirms that it is in advanced discussions regarding a potential sale of Waterstone’s.”

It said any deal would probably be subject to the approval of its shareholders but also its main creditor bank and pension scheme trustees.

Earlier reports had suggested HMV’s banks wanted it to sell Waterstone’s for at least £70m as they seek to recoup some £130m in debt as HMV’s sales fall steadily.