HMV in pole position for MAMA takeover

HMV is poised for a successful £46m takeover of MAMA Group after a rival offer hit the buffers.

MAMA’s largest shareholder, Luxembourg-based investment firm SMS Finance, made a £38.3m bid for the music venues and festivals firm last month.

SMS - the investment vehicle of Italian telecoms billionaire Silvio Scaglia – owns 29.8 per cent of the business but failed to up its offer and HMV is now in pole position to seal a deal.

HMV’s takeover bid comes less than a year after the two companies formed a joint venture which owns 11 music venues and an interest in events such as London’s Lovebox festival.

MAMA also has an artist management business which represents top bands including the Kaiser Chiefs, Franz Ferdinand and White Lies.

The company was set up in 2002 and bought venues from the Mean Fiddler group – including the rights to the brand – in 2007.

HMV's move into the live music business is part of a comeback led by chief executive Simon Fox after the company was badly hit by the increase in music downloads.

Recent results from MAMA showed further strong growth in gig demand, with trading at the Hammersmith Apollo – the joint venture’s flagship 5,100 capacity venue – at record levels.