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HMV rescued by young retail mogul from Canada

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·Senior Economics Correspondent at Yahoo Finance UK
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HMV went into administration in late December. Photo: Matthew Horwood/Getty Images
HMV went into administration in late December. Photo: Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

HMV has been rescued from administration by a young retail mogul Doug Putman, who owns a similar chain of Canadian stores called Sunrise Records.

In a written statement issued on Tuesday, Putman said “the physical media business is here to stay,” noting he was “delighted to acquire the most iconic music and entertainment business in the UK.”

Putman’s purchase will save 100 HMV stores and 1,487 jobs. However, 27 stores were not acquired and will be closed immediately, resulting in 455 job losses.

Putman’s LinkedIn profile shows he has built a name for himself in Canada as an entrepreneur and owner of multiple businesses.

He is owner and president of the Sunrise Records chain, which has close to 100 locations across Canada. He is also the president of a North American toy manufacturer and distributor, Everest Games, which is headquartered south-west of Toronto. Plus, he owns a restaurant and a store that sells boats and off-road vehicles in northern Ontario.

KPMG was put in charge of finding a buyer for the nearly 100-year-old British business after HMV filed for administration in the final days of 2018. It had also filed for administration back in 2013 but was rescued by the restructuring specialist Hilco.

The chain has struggled for years with competition from music streaming services and online competitors.

“We are pleased to confirm this sale which, after a complex process, secures the continued trading of the majority of the business,” said KPMG parter, Will Wright. “Our immediate concern is now to support those employees that have unfortunately been made redundant.”

READ MORE: Canada’s pension fund giant still investing in Britain, betting on shopping malls

Other well-known British retail chains including Poundworld and Maplin recently went bust, while heavyweights such as Marks & Spencer (MKS.L) announced plans to shut down hundreds of stores.

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