Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 April 2014

More than one buyer for HMV's gigs business

Peter Dubens' Oakley Capital is among the private equity firms considering a bid for the live music business of HMV, the troubled entertainment retailer.

HMV put the operator of 13 venues, including London's Hammersmith Apollo, up for sale last month to help pay down its debt pile, which jumped by 8% to £164m at the half-year stage.

Oakley Capital owns Time Out magazine and Headland Media group, but Mr Dubens made his name selling companies such as 365 Media and Pipex Communications. But investment bank Citi, which is running the HMV Live sale, has been approached by several other interested parties. The formal process begins next month.

HMV Live more than doubled its operating profit to £3.4m over the 26 weeks to 29 October.

HMV sold its Waterstone's business for £53m in June to the Russian oligarch Alexander Mamut.

HMV made a loss of £45.7m over the 26 weeks to 29 October, following losses of £27.4m last year.