HMV Group has received a £43m cash offer from Russian billionaire Alexander Mamut to buy Waterstone’s, according to reports.
According to the Financial Times, the £43m offer was received by HMV and its adviser Nomura.
Mamut is a 6% shareholder in HMV and entered exclusive talks to buy Waterstone’s at the end of March. It is understood this period of exclusivity expired before Easter, and no other offers have been made public.
A source close to the situation confirmed that Mamut’s period of exclusivity has now ended, and that HMV is in talks with other potential buyers. “There are a number of people looking at making offers for Waterstone’s, and he [Mamut] is still in play”, the source said.
HMV Group said: “The Company confirms that it is in advanced discussions regarding a potential sale of Waterstone’s.
“Any such transaction would likely be subject to, amongst other things, shareholder, lending bank and pension trustee approval.
“There can be no certainty that any transaction will be concluded and a further announcement will be made as and when appropriate.”
The £43m offer is higher than the speculation that he would only offer £35m for the chain. Analysts hoped HMV could sell the chain for £75m but the retailer issued three profit warnings this year.
Last week it was reported HMV was close to selling its Canadian arm but talks for Waterstone’s had stalled.