Suppliers to HMV face a potential liability of £150m if the embattled retailer collapses in the new year.

The extent of key suppliers’ exposure is likely to boost hopes that HMV will survive, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Supplier Universal is thought to be liable for the rent on about 40 of HMV’s shops after buying the retailer’s former parent, EMI, earlier this year.

The liabilities illustrate the close links between HMV and suppliers such as Universal. Film and music companies are keen for HMV to survive and offer a high street distribution channel, and have already provided about £40m of support. Suppliers also have a 5% stake in HMV.

The liabilities would only reach £150m if HMV fell into administration and its stores were not re-let.

Earlier this month HMV signalled “material uncertainty” about its future because it is likely to breach banking covenants next month. However chief executive Trevor Moore was optimistic that a way forward would be found.