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HMV: Hilco Throws Lifeline To Retail Chain

(c) Sky News 2013

Retail restructuring group Hilco UK has acquired the debt of HMV, effectively giving it control of the administrator-managed entertainment chain.

The debt purchase has been taken from the books of the struggling retail chain's lenders, Royal Bank of Scotland (LSE: RBS.L - news) and Lloyds.

HMV's net debt last October stood at £176m.

During the debt negotiations HMV was set to remain under control of the administrators from Deloitte and not transfer to Hilco.

However Hilco's debt purchase means a route to rescue is now available, and  may save thousands of jobs.

Hilco had earlier been appointed to work alongside Deloitte to assist it in running the business.

Sky's City Editor Mark Kleinman first revealed details of gift cards and vouchers being honoured again by HMV, following a public outcry.

Deloitte announced the U-turn on Monday that HMV would resume selling vouchers cards to customers.

Controversy had surrounded the administrators' decision to ban redemptions of vouchers when Deloitte was appointed on January 14, despite the fact that they had been on sale until hours before the chain's collapse.

HMV's lifeline comes amid shudders on the high street as successive chains face closure.

This month alone, Jessops, Blockbuster and HMV have all called in administrators.

Late last year electricals chain Comet also announced it was calling in the accountants.

The hardest hit firms have been those that lack price competitiveness to online retailers.

Blockbuster has also struggled to offer alternatives to the convenience of online streaming of video.

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