Mike Ashley ‘in talks’ to buy HMV

The Sports Direct tycoon has been on a buying spree of troubled retailers as of late...


Words by: Felicity Martin

Sports Direct tycoon Mike Ashley is in talks to acquire music chain HMV, after it collapsed last month.

The billionaire Newcastle United owner has met with music and entertainment industry figures to discuss a rescue bid for the retailer which has been in trouble for some time, it is beingĀ reported.

The new venture could see Ashley link the brand to other parts of his high street empire, including House of Fraser, Sports Direct and potentially Game Digital, in which Sports Direct owns a 25% stake.

HMV collapsed just three days after Christmas when its parent company, HMV Retail, was forced to bring in administrators for the second time in six years.

In the past six months Ashley has used Sports Direct to buy the House of Fraser chain and Evans Cycles out of administration, and it is not known whether his bid has been placed through Sports Direct International or a separate corporate vehicle.

More than 2,000 jobs are at stake as HMV’s fate reaches a critical stage, and administrators KPMG are likely to decide on a bidder by the end of the week.

HMV’s owner Hilco said a “tsunami” of challenges were responsible for the entertainment chain’s demise, including a “dramatic change in consumer behaviour” and festive sales numbers being “extremely weak”.

More to follow…

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