HMV has been thrown a lifeline after restructuring firm Hilco entered into talks to buy the business out of administration in a £50m deal.

Hilco – which acquired HMV’s debt after it collapsed, leaving it in the driving seat – wants to take on 130 stores, which would save thousands of staff, according to The Sun. It aims to conclude a deal within three weeks.

A second party is vying with Hilco to acquire the business, it is thought.

Sources told the newspaper that a deal had to be struck before the end of March, when HMV’s quarterly rent bill falls.

One source said: “Hilco is now vying with one other bidder and the suppliers are on side. But it’s all down to the landlords — and about a quarter of them are refusing to budge.”

Hilco, which already runs HMV in Canada, has, in partnership with administrator Deloitte, negotiated with music labels to secure new releases for HMV’s UK stores.

Deloitte yesterday sold off HMV’s Asian stores and has already earmarked 103 of HMV’s 220 UK stores for closure.