HMV has unveiled plans to buy 14 Zavvi stores from the stricken entertainment retailer.

The stores – nine in the UK and five in Ireland – are all said to be profitable and not in areas where HMV already has a presence.

The announcement, timed to coincide with the start of an HMV live music venture, comes after administrators announced the closure of 18 Zavvi stores, including its flagship London store.

A statement said 110 jobs would be lost from the Piccadilly store, while a further 243 would go across the other 17 stores.

"Despite having received in excess of 70 expressions of interest, we have not received any offers for the store portfolio as a whole," said Tom Jack, joint administrator.

Zavvi, which went into administration on Christmas Eve, has already sold 22 stores.

"Consequently, with reducing stock levels we have had to manage the cost base of the business and close a further 18 stores," Mr Jack continued.

"We will however continue to trade the remaining Zavvi stores with a view to selling all or part of the Zavvi business as a going concern. We remain optimistic that current sale negotiations will prove successful and that a sale can be achieved.

"We are extremely grateful to the staff and management at all stores and the head office for their fantastic support throughout this difficult time. We would also like to thank Job Centre Plus and The Redundancy Payments Office for their continued support."

Zavvi, formerly known as Virgin Megastores before a buyout, was hit hard by Woolworths' distribution arm Entertainment UK following its parent company in going under.

14/01/2009 18:17:22