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G-A-Y Nightclub Employees Safe After HMV's Administrators Sells Back Its Majority Shareholding

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GAY NIGHTCLUB EMPLOYEES SAFE HMV
GAY group founder has safeguarded 200 jobs by buying back HMV's shares in the group, at a cost of millions of pounds | PA

London's G-A-Y nightclub owner Jeremy Joseph has confirmed he has bought back shares from struggling retailer HMV in a move which sees the founder safeguard 200 jobs and own 100% of the club once again.

HMV owned several venues in its heyday, including the Hammersmith Apollo, Heaven and G-A-Y Group's bars and clubs, but following its money worries it began to sell them off. The Gay Group share holdings were the last to be sold, administrators Deloitte confirmed on Monday.

Owner Joseph said in a statement: "HMV made a strategic decision to sell certain businesses which included the sale of their shares in G-A-Y almost a year ago. I am delighted to have acquired 100% ownership of the business that I founded 20 years ago and to have secured the future of my 200 employees."

Rob Harding, joint administrator of HMV at Deloitte, said the sale of the shares would benefit the creditors of HMV, adding: "We wish Joseph the best in the beginning of a new era for G-A-Y."

According to Joseph's Facebook account, he found the money to buy the shares back by approaching Metrobank for a loan - the amount borrowed was not disclosed, but Joseph admitted it was in the region of "millions" of pounds.

Having initially wanted to pursue the venture with a business partner, Joseph was forced to enter the deal alone after a possible partner pulled out at the last minute.

"Spanners were thrown in the works, creating delays, and with increasing legal fees, there seemed to be no light at the end of the tunnel, so (through) no fault of my partner, the deal fell through, leaving me no option but to go it alone," Joseph wrote.

HMV fell into administration at the start of 2013 after years of struggling with debt and failing to cope with the digital revolution of how the public consumed media.

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