Bidding For HMV’s Live Business

AEG is one of the companies bidding for HMV’s live music business, according to The Independent.

The UK paper also said Oakley Capital, the private equity firm behind Time Out magazine, and venue operator Academy Music Group are also in the frame.

It said neither Oakley nor AMG was prepared to comment.

For AMG, it would mean buying back a couple of London venues that the Competition Commission forced it to shed in 2007, such as Hammersmith Apollo and The Forum.

It helped clear the way for Live Nation and Denis Desmond’s Gaiety investments to acquire 56 percent of AMG.

First-round bidding for a piece of HMV closed March 2. At ILMC there was speculation that German ticket giant CTS Eventim was foremost among the bidders.

“I’m sorry but I can‘t comment,” Eventim chief Klaus-Peter Schulenberg told Pollstar, when asked if his company was in the hunt for the troubled English music company.

HMV put its live business – 13 music venues and five festivals – on the block in December.

The music retail chain/360-degree music company is said to want £65 million for it.

HMV’s entire empire has been hit by hard times and it needs the money to cut the estimated £180 million debt it’s accumulated.

It’s already staved off lenders including Lloyds Bank and Royal Bank Of Scotland by negotiating changes in its loan terms and selling the Waterstone’s book chain for £53 million.