Handleman Company is to sell its British distribution business, Handleman U.K., to market-leading British supermarket chain Tesco.

The deal is expected to be completed in the coming weeks according to
Michigan-based Handleman, and Tesco is set to retain a majority of Handleman U.K.'s employees.

The company is a leading distributor and store merchandiser of books, music and computer games. Tesco began a distribution deal with Handleman U.K. in April 2007 for music and video product ranges across its 740-plus British supermarkets.

As previously reported on Billboard.biz, Handleman is exiting the music business in North America in response to declining CD sales.

As well as selling its music inventory and other assets related to its Wal-Mart business in the U.S. to Anderson Merchandisers, L.P., of Amarillo, Texas, Handleman is awaiting regulatory approval after entering into a definitive agreement to sell its Canadian music operations to Anderson.

This sale includes Handleman's music inventory and other assets related to its Canadian operations; Anderson will retain the 230-strong Canadian workforce. Both parties expect to receive regulatory approval in the near future.

"We are continuing to make good progress in our efforts to complete the wind-down of our North American music business, operate our ongoing businesses, and explore opportunities to maximize the value of other assets and operations for the benefit of our stakeholders," says Albert A. Koch, Handleman president and CEO. "We continue to explore how best to maximize the economic return to our shareholders."

Handleman has also finalized the sale of its Artist to Market Distribution
unit (A2M) to wholesaler Eurpac Service. A2M is an independent music
distributor that works directly with branded artists and management.