Tuesday, May 10, 2011
HMV nears Canada sale but Waterstone's talks stall
9 May, 2011 | By Nicola Harrison - Retail Week
Struggling entertainment retailer HMV is close to selling its Canadian arm but negotiations to sell its book chain Waterstone’s have stalled.Russian oligarch and HMV shareholder Alexander Mamut has indicated he is willing to pay between £35m and £40m for Waterstone’s. However, the HMV board, led by chief executive Simon Fox, is standing by its initial £70m valuation, according to The Sunday Times.
The 128-store Canadian HMV business is expected to be sold for less than £5m.At the end of last month Retail Week revealed that a sale of Waterstone’s could be several weeks off, contrary to reports at the beginning of April that said a deal would be done last month.
HMV is looking at ways to raise cash in the face of falling sales and profits. The retailer has issued a string of profit warnings this year and has said it was in danger of breaching its banking covenants.