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Canadian retailer Sunrise Records fends off competition from Mike Ashley to rescue HMV

Canada’s Sunrise Records is buying 100 of HMV’s UK stores for an undisclosed sum, although 27 underperforming branches will be closed down

sunrise records store
Sunrise wants to sell more vinyl records in HMV stores

Collapsed CDs and DVDs seller HMV has been bought out of administration by Canadian retailer Sunrise for an undisclosed sum.

Sunrise boss Doug Putman, who had previously snapped up HMV’s 70 Canadian stores in 2017, beat off competition from Sports Direct International PLC’s (LON:SPD) billionaire owner Mike Ashley.

Putman has struck a deal with administrators to buy 100 HMV stores across the UK, securing just shy of 1,500 jobs in the process.

READ: Mike Ashley faces competition for HMV

But 27 underperforming sites will close with immediate effect, resulting in 455 redundancies. There is no word yet as to which outlets will be shuttered.

“We are delighted to acquire the most iconic music and entertainment business in the UK and add nearly 1500 employees to our growing team,” said the 34-year-old, who plans to keep the HMV brand and name.

“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.”

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.”

‘Tsunami’ of challenges

HMV, the iconic UK music and entertainment retailer, fell into administration just after Christmas. It was the second time in six years that it had gone under.

At the time, previous owner Hilco blamed a “tsunami” of challenges for its failures such as rising business rates, dwindling footfall and a rapidly changing physical media market due to the increasing popularity of Netflix, Amazon Prime and Spotify.

Until now, Mike Ashley had been the favourite to buy the company, given his penchant for acquiring distressed retailers – House of Fraser, Evans Cycles and Sofa.com – in recent months.

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