HMV Group sells Waterstone’s for £53m

Business digest: Russian billionaire Alexander Mamut behind purchase of 314-store book chain

LAST UPDATED AT 12:03 ON Fri 20 May 2011

HMV have agreed to sell Waterstone's for £53m to a fund controlled by Russian billionaire Alexander Mamut. The book chain has 314 stores, but has been in serious financial difficulty of late, issuing its third profit warning in April.

Mamut, holder of a 6.7 per cent stake in HMV, already owns San Francisco-based social networking site LiveJournal. The Waterstone's purchase, bought with cash through A&NN Capital Fund Management, is expected to be completed by the end of June.

"We expect this deal to enable the Group to achieve a reduction in the group's borrowing requirements," HMV Group chief executive Simon Fox explained. He said the sale will allow the company to "focus on plans for transforming the HMV Group into a broad-based entertainment business".

Read a full report at the Guardian. · 

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