March 15, 2012 13:04
HMV reveals number of parties interested in buying its live music business
Owner of London O2 Arena said to be amongst potential buyers…
The high street retailer, which has sold off both Waterstones and HMV Canada in the past 12 months, has previously stated its intentions to sell HMV Live, which runs venues such as London Hammersmith Apollo and Kentish Town Forum.
Now, according to Reuters, they have attracted interested from several parties including US billionaire Philip Anschutz, whose company AEG owns London's O2 Arena. Academy Music Group, which is responsible for running Brixton Academy and Shepherd's Bush Empire, and Oakley Capital, which has a controlling interest in Time Out, are also said to be interested in making a bid.
A statement from HMV said:
HMV Group notes the recent press speculation regarding the strategic review of the HMV Live business. HMV can confirm that this review remains on-going and that a number of parties have indicated an interest in acquiring the business.
Last month, HMV was forced to deny reports that Amazon had overtaken the high street chain as the UK's leading home entertainment retailer. They described the figures released by market research company Kantar as "skewed" and "misleading" as they chose to include computer games which tips the balance in Amazon's favour, with HMV still leading the way in CD and DVD sales.
In November last year, meanwhile, the retailer announced half-year losses of £36.4 million, but claimed that their decision to focus on technology products was working, with like-for-like sales of products such as headphones, speaker docks and tablet computers up by 147 per cent. It also subsequently announced plans to step up the amount of vinyl it stocks, in response to demand from customers.
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