// 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.
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.