Dentons and Linklaters clinch £50m HMV takeover for Hilco

Dentons and Linklaters have led the advice on the sale of HMV to restructuring specialist Hilco UK, which was confirmed last Friday (5 April) just under three months after the retailer went into administration.


The music and DVD seller’s UK retail business has been sold to Hilco for an undisclosed amount reported to be in the £50m range.

As part of the deal, 141 of HMV’s stores and its head office and distribution functions will transfer to the new owners, saving 2,643 jobs.

HMV appointed a trio of Deloitte partners as administrators on 15 January, with Linklaters advising the accountancy giant’s team (15 January 2013). Since the filing, when HMV operated 222 stores, 81 have closed.

Dentons partner and legacy Salans lawyer Jonathan Polin, who advised Hilco on purchase of HMV’s £176m debt shortly after the company went into administration (22 January 2013), also advised on the latest deal, which comes after Salans rebranded as Dentons following its merger with SNR Denton and Canada’s Fraser Milner Casgrain on 28 March (22 February 2013).

Polin was assisted by lead associate Adam Jones on banking matters and consultant Alison Gaines on banking and restructuring.

Linklaters put forward restructuring partner Richard Hodgson for the Deloitte administrators, working alongside associate Mandip Englund.

Background to this deal:

Linklaters was instructed to advise both the administrators and HMV’s lenders, fielding separate teams. Only Hodgson’s team appeared on the latest deal.

Hilco is an established client of legacy Salans, which has advised on the fund’s involvement with companies including Allied Carpets, Habitat and MFI.

Since HMV fell into administration in the UK, its Asia arm has been sold to Greater China private equity group AID Partners Capital, advised by Eversheds, with Linklaters London corporate partner Dan Schuster-Woldan acting for the administrators (28 February 2013).

The deal, signed on Friday morning, is the latest case of a major high-street name being bought out of administration, with CMS Cameron McKenna, HowardKennedyFsi and White & Case advising on the recent acquisition of Blockbuster by restructuring outfit Gordon Brothers Europe (25 March 2013).