Retail tycoon Mike Ashley is reportedly demanding a rent holiday from landlords of HMV stores as he negotiates a rescue deal for the music retailer.
Ashley has written to HMV’s landlords to see a six-month period without having to pay rent if he buys the chain, according to reports. The landlords include major players in Britain’s commercial property market.
Sky News reported this afternoon the letter asks store owners’ for their cooperation on the matter to allow him to save as many shops and jobs as possible.
It is unclear whether Ashley will continue with the rescue bid if landlords do not adhere to his request.
City A.M. has approached Sports Direct, Ashley’s company, for comment.
HMV collapsed last month, entering its second administration in six years and putting 2,200 jobs across 125 stores at risk.
Administrator KPMG is expected to decide on a preferred bidder by the end of this week. It declined to comment.
Ashley, who has rushed to the aid of a number of struggling retailers in recent months as well as building stakes in rivals Debenhams and French Connection, has emerged as a potential bidder.
In a fiery appearance in front of a parliamentary committee last month, Ashley urged the government to be tougher on online retailers in order to save traditional high street shopping.