HMV moved closer to gaining control of live music business Mama yesterday as rival bidder, SMS Finance, pulled out of the race.

HMV’s £46m bid, made just before Christmas, values Mama, which owns the Hammersmith Apollo in London, at 5.4p per share and has the full backing of the company’s board.

The entertainment retailer has had a joint venture with Mama to run 11 music venues since January last year.

Mama notched up pre-tax profits of £4.8 million in the year to July 31.