All HMV stores to be sold by March 25

Administrator Deloitte wants to sell the business to a new investor before the quarterly rent bill on remaining stores is due

Administrator Deloitte is reportedly looking to sell HMV to a new investor before March 25, when the quarterly rent bill on its remaining stores is due.

According to the Sunday Times, administrators are racing to secure the future of stricken high street music and entertainment chain before it is hit with a rent bill running into tens of millions of pounds. Bidders including include Asda and Hilco (which owns HMV Canada) have reportedly already put in offers to save the retailer, which went into administration in January. As many as 116 shops remain to be sold, with 1,000 jobs at stake. More than 100 stores have already been earmarked for closure by Deloitte, which will see a loss of 1,500 jobs. Earlier this year six stores were sold to Morrisons.

In other HMV news, previously unreleased accounts for the retailer show that it owed £347m of debts when it filed for administration in January. The loss includes £237m owed to unsecured creditors, which Deloitte says will go unpaid, the Sunday Telegraph reports. The statement reveals just how bad HMV’s finances had become in its last year of trading. In the six months up to October 27, 2012, it made a loss before tax of £37.3m on sales of £286.6m. In the full 12 months to April 2012, the business made a loss of £38.6m on sales of £873.1m.

Meanwhile HMV administrators have reportedly received four offers to buy Fopp. Deloitte has declined to name the parties interested in buying the seven remaining cut-price stores but they are believed to include trade buyers and private equity firms.