Will a Russian billionaire change the face of HMV?

HMV’s bosses are focused on transforming its business, despite widespread reports that billionaire shareholder Alexander Mamut wants to break-up the retailer.

The Russian business oligarch has reportedly consulted with financial specialists Credit Suisse to discuss the future of the retailer. The suggestion is that Mamut wants to buy the Waterstones business and sell off HMV’s stores, digital department and live music division.

However, an insider at HMV has dismissed the news as media speculation”, although admitted to being in the dark over Mamut’s true intentions. The billionaire has increased his stake in the business from 3.06 per cent in November to 6.1 per cent last month.

Mamut is now a major shareholder and he will have a great degree of influence over what they do,” a HMV shareholder told MCV.

If the proposals in the press are true, I think it would be a good thing for the business. HMV is a profitable company but it has not ridden the wave of negative publicity well.”

HMV’s management team is currently locked in meetings with investors and banks in an effort to take the business forward. The company’s share price has risen following Mamut’s reported plans for the group.

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