THE WORLD’S biggest music and film companies are backing a takeover attempt for HMV, and are considering new supply terms to keep a rejuvenated company afloat.
The likes of Universal Music and Warner Bros are understood to be exploring a range of options, such as cutting prices on CDs and DVDs or easing payment terms. The measures are expected to improve HMV’s chances of continuing as a business if a buyer can be found.
Suppliers are desperate to retain high street retailers following the death of chains such as Woolworths and Zavvi. HMV collapsing would put even more power in the hands of online retailer Amazon, Apple’s iTunes, and supermarket retailers, a situation music and film companies are keen to avoid.
Industry sources named current frontrunner Hilco as a preferred bidder, pointing to good relations with the turnaround specialist following its 2011 buyout of HMV Canada.
Universal is one label who has a particular interest in HMV, having inherited rental liabilities on 16 stores stemming from its £1.2bn purchase of EMI last year.
Although record labels and film companies have chipped in with funding in recent months to keep HMV afloat, it is unlikely that they will plough funds into a takeover deal.