HMV to sell Waterstone’s for £53m

| May 20, 2011 | 0 Comments

Troubled music, books and games retailer HMV has announced today it will sell its Waterstone’s bookshops to Russian billionaire Alexander Mamut for £53 million after suggesting in March it was looking at ways to sell the business.

The deal, which is expected to be finalised at the end of next month, comes at a time when HMV has issued three profit warnings in as many months and is struggling to meet the terms of its lending agreements.

In a statement, the company said: “The sale of Waterstone’s will enable management to focus more closely on executing the turnaround at HMV and continuing to develop the HMV customer offering.”

The company continues to struggle amid tough competition from supermarkets and internet companies, such as Amazon.

The problems have led to an 80% fall in its share price in the last year.

Meanwhile, Mr Mamut already owns 6% of HMV and has been rumoured to buying Waterstone’s for several weeks.

However, the deal will be subject to shareholder approval.

HMV owns 296 Waterstone’s bookstores with a workforce of around 4,500.

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