HMV poised to sell off its Canada stores

STRUGGLING retailer HMV is set to announce the sale of its 125-store Canadian business to Hilco-owned Valco Capital Partners, according to reports.

The sale of the loss-making Canadian arm is expected to be announced to coincide with HMV’s full-year results on Thursday, as the entertainment group looks to restructure and decrease debts following four profit warnings this year.

It is understood that the group’s music company suppliers were informed of the sale – which is expected to bring in £5m for the beleaguered business – over the last week. Earlier this month, HMV secured a £220m refinancing deal that would effectively involve the British taxpayer staking a stake in the group.

Last month, HMV sold its high street bookselling chain Waterstone’s to Russian billionaire Alexander Mamut for £53m, in a move designed to allow HMV to focus on its music stores in the UK and Ireland. The group also operates five stores in Hong Kong and a further two in Singapore.

Following the restructuring of the business, HMV is focusing on its shift to becoming a live music venue operator, building on the 12 venues it currently operates. This week’s results are also likely to include details about the group’s strategy to develop its in-store music technology offering.

Both HMV and Hilco declined to comment.