Russian oligarch boosts investment in HMV

Russian oligarch Alexander Mamut has raised his stake in entertainment brand HMV to 5%.

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Mamut’s increased investment in HMV has fuelled speculation about his intentions for the chain.

The investor, who owns a 51% stake in mobile handset retailer Yevroset in Russia, has bought shares in HMV on three separate occasions in the past month.

Analysts told The Financial Times that Mamut could be looking for tie ups between mobile business Yevroset and HMV, or to expand HMV into Russia

Shares in the entertainment brand have dropped sharply in the past year, suffering a 17% fall on Thursday (9 December) when the company revealed further declining sales.

HMV reported a 16.1% fall in like for like sales for the six months to 23 October but says it is confident in the progress of its strategy to become a “broad-based entertainment brand”.

The group, which also owns book chain Waterstone’s, has moved into ventures including clothing, digital music, live entertainment and cinema, as part of its efforts to branch out of retail.

It says new products now account for 12% of sales, compared to 9% last year.

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