Canadian music mogul rescues HMV from collapse

HMV has been rescued from administration for the second time in six years after Canadian record store entrepreneur Doug Putman stepped in to outbid Mike Ashley’s offer to buy the business.

Putman’s Sunrise Records swooped in with a last-minute offer to buy the collapsed music retailer yesterday in a move that will save 100 stores but close 27 due to high rents, resulting in 455 redundancies.

The rescue deal will safeguard the jobs of 1,487 employees and a further 122 will remain in warehouse jobs.

The iconic music retailer collapsed into administration in December for the second time following a bailout by restructuring firm Hilco in 2013.

Hilco called in KPMG administrators last year, blaming tough trading conditions on the High Street and a “tsunami” of challenges, including the consumer shift towards streaming services.

Putman, a 34-year-old vinyl record enthusiast has acquired the business under after buying out 70 stores from the Canadian HMV when the firm collapsed in 2017. Sunrise has benefitted from the growing popularity of vinyl records.

The UK business had been a prospective purchase for Sports Direct owner Ashley, who had requested a six-month rent holiday from HMV’s landlords as part of his proposal to bailout the chain.

Putnam told BBC Radio 4 this morning that HMV's business was loved by customers and said it would be around for a long time to come, adding “I think there is a very long road ahead.”

In a statement Putnam said: “We are delighted to acquire the most iconic music and entertainment business in the UK and add nearly 1,500 employees to our growing team. By catering to music and entertainment lovers, we are incredibly excited about the opportunity to engage customers with a diverse range of physical format content, and replicate our success in Canada.

“We know the physical media business is here to stay and we greatly appreciate all the support from the suppliers, landlords, employees and most importantly our customers.”

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