THE former boss of stricken music retailer Allans Billy Hyde believes a buyer may still be found for the business even though receivers have started shutting it down.
Market sources said Bain Capital, the private equity firm founded by US presidential candidate Mitt Romney, was among potential buyers circling the group.
”A number of discussions are ongoing with interested parties,” said John Helme, the former joint managing director of the chain’s owner, Australian Music Group Holdings.
He declined to comment on whether Bain was among those interested parties, but criticised the decision last week of receivers Ferrier Hodgson to start the process of shutting down AMG’s 24 company-owned stores across Australia.
”Last week’s news was premature from our perspective,” he said.
”We remain hopeful that there will be a credible buyer. With such an iconic business you have to question such a hasty decision.”
A Ferrier Hodgson spokesman declined to comment.
Ferrier Hodgson partners James Stewart and Brendan Richards were appointed receivers of the struggling group on August 23 by secured creditor Revere Capital, owed about $27 million. Revere is a subsidiary of Valco Capital Partners, the private equity arm of retail shutdown specialists Hilco.
Last Wednesday, after failing to sell the business as a going concern, Mr Stewart announced a clearance sale to get rid of AMG’s stock, valued at about $45 million, after which the stores will be shut down.
Its 56 head office employees were made redundant as part of preparations for the eventual shutdown of the entire business, which employs about 610 people in its stores.
AMG lost $40.9 million in the year to July 3, 2011, the latest period for which accounts are available.
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