HMV and Fopp branches sold to Hilco in new rescue package, saving 141 stores

The sale of T-shirts and other merchandise is expected to be at the core of a revival plan for the collapsed high street music retailer

Restructuring specialist Hilco has announced that it has bought 132 HMV shops and all nine branches of its Fopp sister chain.

The deal is expected to be worth £50 million and will save around 2,500 jobs. Hilco already owns HMV Canada, and its chief executive, Paul McGowan, said the company hopes to turn around the fortunes of the UK branches in the same way: “We hope to replicate some of the success we have had in the Canadian market with the HMV Canada business which we acquired almost two years ago and which is now trading strongly.”

The sale of T-shirts and other artist memorabilia are expected to be at the core of a revival plan for HMV, with the strapline “we are entertainment”. According to The Guardian, new owner Hilco plans to focus on selling music and film and more lucrative band-branded clothing and other merchandise – abandoning its move into selling consumer electronics such as computer games and iPod docks. Record labels, who are keen to keep a major music retailer on the high street, are believed to have agreed to support HMV with new supply terms.

HMV – the UK’s last remaining high street music retailer, collapsed in January after several months of financial uncertainty. Documents from administrator Deloitte show that the chain owed £347 million when it failed. The loss includes £237 million owed to unsecured creditors, which Deloitte has said will go unpaid.

Despite the deal, 80 HMV stores will remain closed. Hilco is also in negotiations with landlords in Ireland in a bid to reopen stores which were closed several months ago after HMV went into administration.

HMV relaunched its website on Friday (April 5) with the strapline “We are entertainment”, although it was not yet open for trading.