HMV gets financial boost from supplier deal

HMV has a struck a deal with Universal and other key music and film suppliers that sees them take a 2.5% stake in the beleaguered entertainment retailer as it looks to secure its long-term financial future.


It is hoped the deal will halve HMV’s £180m debt over three years and allow the company time to complete plans to refocus its retail offering on technology products and specialist music and film ranges.

The deal led to the company’s bankers, including state-backed Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group, amending loan agreements that will see HMV given more time to repay debt.

The other music and film suppliers have not been named but The Guardian reports that they are likely to include Sony Music and film studio Disney.

The survival of HMV as the last remaining major high street music and film outlet, is pivotal to companies such as Universal to slow declining sales of physical products.

In a statement announcing the deal, David Joseph, chairman and chief executive of Universal Music in the UK, described HMV as “vital” to the UK music industry.

Concerns over HMV’s future have been mounting since chief executive Simon Fox said last year that falling sales and debt casted doubt over its ability to continue as a “going concern” in the future.

Sales dipped 8.2% for the five weeks to 31 December and the group has put its Live music division up for sale to reduce debt.

Fox said the “enormously welcome” deal would make a “material improvement” to its financial position.

He adds: “The new relationship with our suppliers and the support of our banks will now enable HMV to wholeheartedly focus all of its energies – working in close partnership with its suppliers, on serving the changing needs of its customers ever more effectively.

“As a key part of this we remain committed to improving our specialist ranging and merchandising of music and DVD whilst also continuing to grow our sales in portable technology and further developing our online and digital offers.”

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here