Sports Direct owner Mike Ashely is reportedly seeking a “six-month rent holiday” from HMV landlords if he were to save the music retailer.
Sky News reports that Ashley has told the landlords he “wants to preserve as many of its shops and jobs as possible” but will require their cooperation to do so.
Ashley reportedly tabled a bid to buy HMV out of administration last week.
The embattled music retail chain slumped into administration for the second time in six years on December 28, blaming a “tsunami” of retail challenges for its collapse.
KPMG was drafted in to handle the process, which has left the future of HMV’s 125 stores and 2,200 workers in the balance.
The administrators confirmed “several” offers had been made for HMV last week.
Retail Week understands KPMG will decide on which bid to accept next week.
Ashley’s letter follows the ultimatum the Sports Direct founder issued to House of Fraser’s landlords following the acquisition of the business in August.
Ashley warned that some of House of Fraser’s 59-strong store estate would be closed if landlords refused to negotiate on rent reductions. A spokesman for House of Fraser at the time accused some landlords of being “greedy” for refusing to accept rent reductions on many stores, including its flagship on Oxford Street.
Sports Direct has been approached for a comment.