Waterstones eyes Blackwell’s takeover

Waterstones has snapped up Blackwells, the UK’s largest independent bookseller.
// Waterstones in talks with Blackwell’s to acquire bookseller
// Waterstones secured a period of exclusivity within which to negotiate a deal

Waterstones has reportedly entered discussions with Blackwell’s to buy the 143 year-old bookseller.

Waterstones, which is owned by the US-based hedge fund Elliott Advisors, has secured a period of exclusivity within which to negotiate a deal.

If the deal goes though, the acquisition of Blackwell’s would unite it under common ownership with a number of other bookselling brands, including Barnes & Noble in the US and Daunt Books, Sky News reported.

READ MORE: Blackwell’s up for sale for first time in 143-year history

Waterstones and Barnes & Noble are both run by James Daunt.

Blackwell’s owner’s plan to sell it comes after it ditched plans to transfer ownership of the business to its roughly-350 employees.

The company has been owned by its founding family since its first store opened in Oxford in 1879.

Blackwell’s explored a refinancing process last year that would have seen it converted into a structure owned by its roughly 350 staff, but concluded that it was impractical owing to the impact of the pandemic.

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  1. Big shame. I would have liked to have seen Blackwell’s sold to a competitor or new entrant as I think there are competition concerns here.

    This is a fab brand and would love a city centre store for them in Canterbury.
    Prefer them to Waterstones if truth be told.


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