Looks like the High Street can breathe a tiny sigh of relief — HMV, everyone’s favourite beleagured CD seller, is getting rescued by the owners of HMV Canada, Hilco.
Hilco is a restructuring specialist, meaning it takes control of struggling companies, shuffles stuff around a bit, and brings them back into the black. They’ve bought HMV’s debt from the banks, meaning that to all intents and purposes, they own HMV’s sorry arse. Apparently, they paid the bankers far less than the £176m market price for the debt, since HMV isn’t exactly doing well at the moment.
Hilco haven’t announced their plans for restructuring HMV, although given the precarious nature of the business it’s still quite likely that some stores will have to go. On the upside, the big record companies have apparently given their blessing to the Hiclo-HMV buyout, which should help HMV keep stock in stores.
This is definitely a boon for not only the high street, but the whole music industry — like it or not, HMV’s presence on the High Street, with elaborate displays advertising music, helps drive sales on iTunes and Spotify and the like. Plain and simple, we’re better off with HMV surviving. [BBC]