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HMV halts trading, seeks rescue

LONDON — British music and entertainment retailer HMV admitted defeat on Tuesday after more than 90 years in business, suspending trading in its shares and calling in administrators to try to salvage any viable parts of the business.

HMV is the last big retail chain selling recorded music in Britain and employs more than 4,000 people working in 238 stores, which will remain open for the time being.

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The company’s management confirmed that it had failed to gain agreements with lenders and suppliers to continue trading. It has appointed three partners of Deloitte LLP to administer the business.

The name HMV stands for ‘‘his master’s voice,’’ from the company’s trademark of a dog named Nipper staring intently at the bell of an early gramophone player.

The first HMV music store was opened in London in 1921. In 1986 the company opened a store in Canada, and later moved into the United States, Japan, Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

Despite steadily losing market share to Internet sellers, HMV still has about 20 percent of the UK music and video market, which includes both downloads and discs.

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