Hope for HMV as it is bought by Canadian firm Sunrise Records, saving 1,500 jobs
ENTERTAINMENT retailer HMV has been acquired out of administration by Canadian firm Sunrise Records, safeguarding the future of nearly 1,500 staff – but hundreds of job losses will follow.
Sunrise, which is owned by Doug Putman, beat off competition from the likes of Mike Ashley for the stricken retailer and will acquire 100 stores across the UK.
However, 27 unprofitable stores will close with immediate effect, resulting in 455 redundancies.
The future of HMV’s store at Gunwharf Quays, in Portsmouth, is not yet known.
Administrator KPMG will retain a further 122 employees at warehouse functions to assist in winding down operations.
Mr Putman said: ‘We are delighted to acquire the most iconic music and entertainment business in the UK and add nearly 1,500 employees to our growing team.
‘By catering to music and entertainment lovers, we are incredibly excited about the opportunity to engage customers with a diverse range of physical format content and replicate our success in Canada.
‘We know the physical media business is here to stay and we greatly appreciate all the support from the suppliers, landlords, employees and, most importantly, our customers.’
HMV became the first high street casualty after Christmas when its then owner Hilco called in corporate undertakers in December.
It was the second time HMV has collapsed in recent years, having filed for administration in 2013.
The firm’s store in Commercial Road, Portsmouth, closed in June 2014.
The likes of Poundworld, Toys'R'Us and Maplin all went bust last year amid brutal trading, while heavyweights Marks and Spencer announced plans to shutter hundreds of stores.
In addition, fears for Debenhams’ stores in Portsmouth, Southsea and Fareham have arisen after the firm announced it was to undertake an insolvency agreement.
Several others brands – including Superdry, Carpetright and Card Factory – have all issued profit warnings.
Will Wright, partner at KPMG and joint administrator, said: ‘We are pleased to confirm this sale which, after a complex process, secures the continued trading of the majority of the business.
‘Our immediate concern is now to support those employees that have unfortunately been made redundant.’
Neil Gostelow, partner at KPMG and joint administrator, added: ‘We are grateful for the support of all key stakeholders including the suppliers whose support throughout this process has been key in securing this sale.’