Waterstones buys Foyles ending 115-year family control

481

Waterstones is set to acquire rival bookstore Foyles, removing control from the Foyles family for the first time in 115 years.

The deal, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year, has been touted as Waterstone’s fight back against Amazon and “online and e-reading”.

Though details of the deal including the terms and how much was paid have not yet been made public, it is understood that both its chief executive Paul Currie and its current owner Christopher Foyle will relinquish all control.

This marks the first time Foyles will be outside of family control since 1903, and it will now join Waterstones growing portfolio of brands including Harchards and Hodges Figgis.

Waterstones 283 international bookstores will now acquire Foyles’ four properties in London, Bristol, Birmingham and Chelmsford.

“We are honoured to be entrusted with the Foyles business, and greatly look forward to joining forces with the Foyles bookselling team,” Waterstone’s managing director James Daunt said.

“Together, we will be stronger and better positioned to protect and champion the pleasures of real bookshops in the face of Amazon’s siren call.

“We take on this responsibility with pride and confidence and are committed to ensuring Foyles a future as bright as its past.”

Foyle added: “My family and I are delighted that Foyles is entering a new chapter, one which secures the brand’s future and protects its personality. I look forward to witnessing the exciting times ahead for the company founded by my Grandfather and his brother 115 years ago.”

In April Waterstones was bought by activist hedge fund Elliot Advisors.

Click here to sign up to Retail Gazette‘s free daily email newsletter