Waterstone 'keen to take back control' of his bookstores
Monday 06 September 2010
Tim Waterstone, the founder of the bookshop chain that bears his name, is reportedly mulling a bid to buy back the stores if the current owner, HMV, fails to improve the business by next year. The bid would be valued at £100m or more.
HMV is due to issue an update on trading this week, which will be intensely scrutinised by Mr Waterstone and his advisers. He has apparently assembled backers for his approach, including a contribution from a London-based hedge fund. The deal would take the shops into private ownership again.
Meanwhile, some investors in HMV are said to be keen to see their company offload the books business and realise cash. The first branch of Waterstones opened in 1982 and the successful chain was sold to WHSmith in 1993 and then to HMV in 1998 for £300m. In 2006, Mr Waterstone tried unsuccessfully to buy back his old business for £280m. Sources say he is still keen to regain control of the 300-plus branches and "it is unthinkable that he would not be in the running" if HMV did want to dispose of it.
The bookseller has performed badly recent years, with its latest annual operating profit collapsing from £10m to £2.8m after poor autumn and Christmas sales. Like-for-like sales sank by 6.2 per cent in the year to April, prompting the company to draft in new management in January.
Analysts at Nomura expect HMV to reveal ongoing sales pressure at Waterstones in this week's trading update, although they believe the decline eased to 4 per cent in the first quarter from 4.8 per cent in the previous three months.
Like other bookselling chains, such as Bookers, which went bust earlier this year, Waterstones has suffered from the emergence of internet retailing and the new generation of electronic book readers.
New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain
By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen
New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning
Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy
- 1 'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
- 2 Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
- 3 Topshop at centre of row over body image as 'shocking' skinny mannequin photo goes viral
- 4 If you think Russell Brand’s new book is confused, you should read what his critics have to say about it
- 5 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
Halloween 2014: From the Screaming Man of Pluckley to the 'White Lady' of the Tower of London - Britain's 20 most haunted places
Russian politician says Apple CEO Tim Cook should be 'banned' from country after coming out as gay
Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Maureen Lipman says 'she can't vote Labour while Ed Miliband is leader'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything
iJobs Money & Business
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: SThree, International Recruitme...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...
£20000 - £23250 Per Annum pro rata: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pro rata ...
£40 - 48k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Manager to join...