Waterstones acquires Blackwell’s for undisclosed sum
Waterstones has acquired family owned specialist bookseller Blackwell’s for an undisclosed sum through funds advised by Elliott Advisors.
The move brings 143 years of family ownership to an end for Blackwell’s. The company will continue to trade under its own name following the purchase.
The acquisition follows the purchase of the Foyles bookshop chain in September 2018 and will also bring Blackwell’s under the same ownership as US chain Barnes & Noble.
Toby Blackwell, Blackwell’s outgoing owner and president, said: “After 143 years of family ownership, finding a new home for our business and our wonderful booksellers, has been an extraordinary challenge. Waterstones have demonstrated in their acquisition of Foyles most recently, that they understand the advantages and benefits of holding diverse iconic bookselling brands in their portfolio. I view them not just as a buyer of the business, but as the right buyer at the right time. This is a positive outcome for Waterstones, Blackwell’s and all our customers in the UK and abroad, who will still be able to enjoy the individual nature of what both brands offer.”
James Daunt, Waterstones’ managing director, added: “Blackwell’s and Heffers are amongst the most illustrious names in bookselling, a legacy for which we have the utmost respect. We greatly look forward to working alongside the booksellers at Blackwell’s as we secure the future of these wonderful bookshops and preserve academic bookselling in so many towns and campuses across the UK.”
Waterstones is the UK and Ireland’s leading high street bookseller with 291 bookshops, including Foyles, Hatchards, Hodges Figgis and branches in Ireland, Brussels and Amsterdam.
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