Feb 3, 2019

HMV gets approach from Canadian music retailer

Hopes of a new dawn for HMV, the British music retailer, have emerged after Sunrise Records, a smaller Canadian rival, made a last-minute approach to buy the business out of administration. Mike Ashley, the billionaire behind Sports Direct, has also offered to buy the music business, but Sunrise's intervention has been welcomed by HMV's creditors, including those in the music industry, said two people with direct knowledge of the talks. It has not transformed HMV's former Canadian business into a niche music retailer specialising in expensive vinyl akin to Rough Trade in the UK. Sunrise still sells DVDs, board games, electronics, toys and cult figurines. HMV remains an important player in the music business with CD sales representing almost a quarter of UK music sales last year. The BPI, the music industry's trade body, said the UK music industry grew almost 6 per cent in 2018, generating £1.3bn. Although streaming represents the bulk of revenues, the BPI has warned that the collapse of HMV and the potential hard Brexit puts growth in the music sector at risk.

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