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Morrison & Foerster (MoFo) has taken a role advising a group of creditors on the administration of HMV, as reports surface suggesting the music retailer could still be rescued by a buyer.
City litigation partner Jonathan Wheeler is leading a MoFo team acting for a roster of HMV’s supplier creditors including Warner Music UK, Paramount Home Entertainment, Cinram, Arvato, Channel 4 and ITV, as well as three Sony businesses encompassing Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Sony Music Entertainment UK and Sony DADC UK.
Wheeler is joined on the US firm’s advisory team by London litigation associate John Adams.
Confirmation of MoFo’s role comes after HMV filed for administration on Monday (14 January), with Linklaters winning the key role acting for the administrators at Deloitte and for the company’s lenders (15 January 2012).
Press reports have linked a number of potential bidders with parts of the stricken high street group, including private equity houses Better Capital, Oakley Capital, Endless and HMV Canada owner Hilco.
It is understood that Better Capital, headed by businessman Jon Moulton, was approached as a potential buyer by Deloitte, which advised HMV’s lending banks in advance of its filing for administration. Better Capital - which has previously instructed DLA Piper for corporate work - declined to comment. DLA Piper confirmed it was not advising the private equity outfit.
Oakley, which last year expressed interest in HMV’s live music business Mama Group eventually sold to Lloyds Development Capital in December 2012, has a longstanding relationship with Ashurst corporate partner David Carter, while Hilco has previously hired Salans corporate partner Jonathan Polin. No legal instructions have yet been confirmed.
Background to this deal:
Wheeler has acted for a number of the clients included in the group of HMV supplier creditors in relations to previous retail insolvencies including Zavvi and Woolworths, which both went into administration in 2008, and Borders, which filed in 2009 (21 June 2010).