HMV chief 'confident' of a solution
Stricken music chain HMV has insisted that there is still a viable future for the 92-year-old business after it became yet another high profile retail collapse putting nearly 4,500 jobs at risk.
HMV chief executive Trevor Moore said he was "confident that we will find a solution" despite appointing administrators after suffering dismal Christmas sales.
Potential suitors are already said to be eyeing a rescue deal for HMV, with reports suggesting private equity firm Endless, the group that bought The Works out of administration, is considering an approach.
Retail restructuring firm Hilco, which owns HMV Canada, and private equity veteran Jon Moulton are also believed to be looking at HMV.
But 4,350 jobs are under threat and there are fears of widespread closures among HMV's 239 stores, which include nine Fopp outlets.
Its collapse marks the latest in a run of retailers to hit the wall following the demise of camera chain Jessops and electricals group Comet, causing the closure of 422 stores and loss of more than 8,000 jobs.
Mr Moore - who also previously headed up Jessops - sought to assure there was still hope for the chain. He said management "remain convinced that we can find a successful business outcome", even though it suffered a torrid Christmas.
HMV sales were disappointing after the failure to secure the supply of two key tablet computers saw it miss out on surging demand for the gadgets, according to Mr Moore.
While it did not reveal its festive performance, HMV said sales declines remained around the 10.2% level seen in the half year to October 26.
Prime Minister David Cameron's official spokesman said HMV's woes were "sad news, for HMV and its employees in particular".