Waterstone's bid report prompts HMV share rise


Shares in HMV have risen sharply on an unconfirmed report it has received a bid for its bookshop chain Waterstone's from a Russian billionaire.

The shares rose at much as 12.5% after the Financial Times reported Alexander Mamut had made a £43m cash offer for the 300-outlet book chain.

He already owns 6% of HMV, which has issued a string of profits warnings.

The retailer said last month that it expected profits to be about 25% lower than it had hoped.

HMV's representatives would not comment on the report.

Its business prospects have been declining quickly. In March HMV said it expected to make £38m this year, but one month later it said it would only make £30m.

It has estimated debts of £130m and is under pressure from its bankers to raise cash.

The group owns 285 HMV stores and 314 Waterstone's bookstores in the UK and Ireland.

Its international business comprises 125 stores in Canada, five in Hong Kong and two in Singapore.

HMV announced in March that it was exploring options to sell its Waterstone's stores.

The company has faced fierce competition from supermarkets and online retailers such as Amazon and iTunes.

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