Hammicks' new owner against NBA

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The Independent Online
THE new owner of Hammicks bookshops is in favour of abolishing the Net Book Agreement, the restrictive practice that prevents price discounts on most books, writes Patrick Hosking.

Vincent Campbell, who yesterday bought Hammicks from the John Menzies group for pounds 6.8m, said he would like to see the end of the NBA: 'As a retailer I don't want my options inhibited by any outside force.'

Mr Campbell, a former managing director of Hatchards Bookshops, is backed by Phildrew Ventures, part of UBS-Phillips & Drew. Bank of Scotland is lending pounds 4m. Mr Campbell and Jaspal Calotier, formerly with Johnson Fry, will own 25 per cent of the equity, and Phildrew the rest.

The NBA, which came under fire this month from the European Court of Justice, is supported by most British booksellers, with the notable exception of Pentos, owner of the Dillons chain.

Hammicks turns over about pounds 20m a year through 30 shops.

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