TMI Top Music International Vertriebs GmbH, one of Germany's leading wholesalers of CDs and DVDs, has filed for creditor protection with the Local Court of Heidelberg.

As a result, around 500 jobs are under threat. TMI employs 170 in Bremen, 80 in Alsdorf and 250 in St. Leon-Rot, where the company is based. TMI supplies many major retailers with recorded music, generating annual sales of over €280 million ($386 million).

Attorney Christopher Seagon Heidelberg-based Wellensiek Rechtsanwalte has been appointed insolvency administrator.

Speaking on behalf of the insolvency administrator, Alexander Lennemann told "An attempt to continue the company's operating business with as minimum disruption as possible will be made."

Over the next three months, the insolvency administrator will attempt to find new investors or determine whether to proceed with winding up the company.

TMI was established in 1989. According to industry sources, record labels have a total financial exposure to TMI of an eight-figure amount. Representatives for the German biz did not want to comment on the case.