Nearly 4,500 jobs are on the line as music retailer HMV goes into administration due to weak sales and a tough retail market.
HMV says it has suspended its shares from trade on the London Stock Exchange and it will appoint Deloitte as administrators to run the company as a going concern and seek a buyer.
The company, which traces its history back to the 1890s, says it will not be able to meet debt obligations due at the end of this month.
HMV opened its first retail shop under that name in London in 1921 and has a large store network in the UK and Ireland.
Its last remaining Australian store closed in mid-2010.
A retail analyst says HMV has a hard road ahead if it is to again become a viable company.
Analyst Peter Ryan says more and more people buy music, movies and computer games online.
"The issue with most of those businesses is somebody taking a haircut in order to right size them, is the euphemism, which really means downsizing," he said.
"It needs to trim back to a level where those people who prefer to buy those items in a hard-copy format, like a CD or a DVD, that there's enough of those people to support the business."