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HMV targets live music; purchases 14 Zavvi stores

HMV Group PLC announced plans to enter the live music market in a move that will see London's Hammersmith Apollo concert venue change its name to the HMV Apollo. The 88-year-old retailer, which runs Waterstone's bookstores and music shops under its own name, said yesterday it had agreed to a joint venture with Mama Group PLC that will own 11 of the British music and marketing firm's venues. HMV reported a 0.5-per-cent rise in underlying sales for the five weeks to Jan. 3 and said it was on track to meet full-year profit expectations. It also said it had agreed to buy 14 stores from administrators of rival Zavvi. HMV (London) rose 2 pence to £1.28 ($2.34).

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