LONDON (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — AEG Live appears to have emerged as the front runner in the bidding to acquire UK-based music retailers live music segment The MAMA Group.
According to UK newspaper The Daily Mail, AEG has been granted "preferred bidder status" which means that they have been selected as the party to whom HMV intends to sell. Included in HMV's live music holdings are 13 venues across the U.K., including the HMV Hammersmith Apollo, HMV Forum in Kentish Town, HMV Institute, Jazz Café in Camden Town, Relentless Garage in Islington, HMV Picture House in Edinburgh, Heaven in London, G-A-Y and Barfly chains.
In addition to the venues, the Lovebox festival and the HMV Next Big Thing festivals, as well as MAMA's artist management division and a number of ancillary consumer offerings such as a UK music magazine 'The Fly' and a music consultancy.
Other bidders in the running were reported to be private-equity investors Oakley Capital and Sony Music among others.
HMV, who's primary business is music and entertainment retail, has been struggling against the tide as recorded music sales continue their transition to digital and is looking to divest its profitable live music segment to help pay off its $269 million in accumulated debt. HMV acquired The MAMA Group in 2010 for £46 million. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers