Bidders circle Waterstone's as Mamut talks stall

Bidders circle Waterstone's as Mamut talks stall

HMV is considering a number of options for Waterstone's as talks with Russian billionaire Alexander Mamut have reportedly hit the buffers.

Up to 10 potential bidders have expressed interest in the beleagured book chain, one of which may be Change Capital Partners, an investment firm which specialises in buying retailers and leisure companies.

According to a Sky News blog, it is understood that HMV's advisor, Japanese bank Nomura, set a deadline of yesterday (12th May) for interested parties to submit offers, when Mamut's period of exclusivity ended.

The Independent reports that talks with Mamut, who has been in discussions to buy the chain with founder Tim Waterstone, have stalled.

A stalemate has been reached as Mamut is thought to have offered between £35m and £45m for the bookseller, significantly less than the £70m HMV's banks require.

Late last month it was revealed that selling Waterstone's for under its asking price could force the HMV Group into a company voluntary arrangement, a form of insolvency which could release HMV from shop rent payments and provide a ring-fence around the company that would enable it to continue trading.