HMV Canada owner Hilco in lead for stores

Michael Bow
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VULTURE turnaround fund Hilco UK is poised to add to its stable of Canadian HMV stores after taking the lead in the race to salvage its bankrupt UK sibling.

Hilco, which bought out HMV Canada from parent HMV group in 2011 for £2m, is currently heading a pack of around 50 suitors for the iconic high street retailer, which collapsed last week.

It is understood administrators Deloitte are locked in talks with a number of bidders who have signed non-disclosure agreements to access HMV’s books. The identity of these firms have not been disclosed.

Among those battling Hilco UK are thought to be Jon Moulton’s Better Capital, US private equity giant Apollo Global Management, videogames retailer Game – owned by former Comet investor OpCapita – and private equity house Endless

A Deloitte spokesman said the administrators were “pleased” with the amount of interest so far.

“We’ve had a broad range of interest from a broad range of parties,” he added.

HMV’s 223 stores collapsed into administration last week after being hit by a double whammy of maturing debt and sluggish Christmas sales.

Hilco’s HMV Canada, which has 113 stores across Canada, has been bullish about the potential for HMV to turn a profit, despite the threat of digital music and films.

“We generally believe this is an area that has life in it for a number of years yet,” HMV Canada president Nick Williams said recently.

Hilco could not be reached for comment last night.