Categories: BookstoresNon-US

Waterstones Owner Exploring Sale, Debt Refinancing

From Shelf Awareness:

Waterstones, the main bookselling chain in the U.K., may be for sale.

Alexander Mamut, the Russian billionaire who bought Waterstones in 2011 for £53 million (about $70 million at current exchange rates), has asked N.M. Rothschild & Sons to advise him on strategic options, including a sale of the bookseller for £250 million (about $329 million) or refinancing of its debt, the Times of London reported late yesterday. According to a followup story from City AM, Mamut asked Rothschild to handle the matter during the summer, and the process isn’t expected to be conducted in earnest until after the holiday season.

In any case, the matter has been given new impetus by the collapse of Russia’s largest private bank, Otkritie, in which Mamut was a major shareholder.

. . . .

Waterstones managing director James Daunt, who was appointed by Mamut when he bought the company in 2011, told the Bookseller this morning that a sale by Mamut would be “sensible enough” because the company has become profitable and “that is what he does–buys companies, invests, turns them around and then sells them. If he can get the £200 million plus for us, he will have done very well!”

Link to the rest at Shelf Awareness

PG :