HMV shareholder Alexander Mamut, who owns a 6.1% stake in the retailer, has appointed Credit Suisse to advise him on the options for the group.

The immediate question is why? There are two possibilities. One is a straightforward asset strip – close the business down and sell off the stores. The other is to trade it as a going concern. If that is the case then who is going to run it and where are the ideas going to come from? It is possible that Waterstones could go to one of several people who seem to be interested, the real problem is what to do with HMV. The whole music and video retail scene is littered with retailers who have tried and failed and no one has yet been able to demonstrate that there is a long term future for a high street retailer in the HMV mould.