Canadian firm Sunrise Records has emerged as the buyer of struggling UK music and DVD chain HMV. The Canadian outfit will reportedly buy 100 stores out of administration, securing 1,487 jobs. But 27 outlets will close, resulting in more than 450 job losses. No figure was given for the deal.
In a statement announcing the deal, Sunrise Records chief executive Doug Putman said, “We are delighted to acquire the most iconic music and entertainment business in the UK and add nearly 1,500 employees to our growing team. By catering to music and entertainment lovers, we are incredibly excited about the opportunity to engage customers with a diverse range of physical format content, and replicate our success in Canada. 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.”
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Canadian entrepreneur Putman, 34, bought retail chain Sunrise Records in 2014. He previously acquired HMV’s Canadian business in 2017, growing his small portfolio into a national operation with 80 stores. He is also President of major North American toys and games company Everest Toys.
HMV collapsed in December, its second administration in six years. The Hilco-owned firm sold 31% of all physical music in the UK in 2018 and 23% of all DVDs.
UK retail magnate Mike Ashley was also reported to be in the mix to buy the iconic brand, which has existed since the 1920s and was once a giant on the high street but whose business has suffered following the growth of online entertainment sales.
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