HMV has acquired 14 Zavvi stores and is to enter the live music market with the purchase of a 50 per cent stake in a joint venture with venue operator MAMA Group.

The announcements came as HMV UK & Ireland reported like for like sales growth of 3 per cent in the five weeks to January 3. Group sales rose 2.9 per cent, including like for like growth of 0.5 per cent. Waterstone’s total sales fell 0.9 per cent, including like for like sales decline of 2 per cent.

HMV bought the 14 stores from the admininstrators of Zavvi for£700,000.

The joint venture will include 11 live music and entertainment venues in the UK, including the Hammersmith Apollo in London, which will be renamed the HMV Apollo. Further venues include the Forum, Garage, Jazz Café and Borderline in London, Institute in Birmingham, The Picture House in Edinburgh and Moshulu in Aberdeen.

The joint venture will also include MAMA's 67 per cent stake in Heaven, G-A-Y and G-A-Y Late.

HMV will pay£18.25m, including the 10-year naming rights, for the venture.

HMV has also entered into a seperate arrangement with ticket agency Seatem to sell tickets to events at the joint venture through HMV stores and

HMV group chief executive Simon Fox said: “Music is very much part of our DNA, and by extending the HMV brand into the growing live music and entertainment market, our customers will be able as never before to access and experience music in all its forms via HMV."

Gross margin is expected to be flat for the full year in both HMV UK & Ireland and Waterstone’s.

HMV International total sales are down 3.6 per cent, including a like for like sales decline of 6.6 per cent.

HMV intends to place up to 20 million new shares. The proceeds will be used to fund the new strategic initiatives and, together with its£220m bank facility to 2011, the placing will maintain its strong balance sheet, it said.

Fox said: “Whilst trading conditions continue to be challenging, HMV Group is focused on delivering against its plan and taking advantage of the opportunities arising from the reshaping of the competitive landscape, and we are on track to meet our expectations for the full year.”