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WH Smith to acquire US travel retail business InMotion

WH Smith has agreed to buy InMotion, the retailer that sells digital accessories in US airports, in a move that will double the size of its… View Article

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

WH Smith to acquire US travel retail business InMotion

WH Smith has agreed to buy InMotion, the retailer that sells digital accessories in US airports, in a move that will double the size of its international travel retail business.

The book and stationery retailer will pay $198 million for the company.

Established in 1998, InMotion operates a concession portfolio of 114 stores across 43 airports in the US and sells a range of headphones, travel accessories, mobile power, portable speakers and action cameras.

In the year to date, InMotion achieved like-for-like sales growth of 13% following like-for-like growth of 12% in the previous year. In the financial year to 31 December, the company is expected to deliver sales of approximately $166 million and EBITDA of around $23 million.

Stephen Clarke, group chief executive of WH Smith, said: “The acquisition of InMotion is an exciting value creation opportunity for the WH Smith Group and marks a major step in our international travel retail growth strategy.

“The travel retail market in North America for digital accessories offers significant growth potential. As the market leader, recognised for its best-in-class customer service, InMotion is well positioned to take advantage of that potential.”

In addition to expanding its travel retail business, WH Smith said the acquisition will provide an opportunity to accelerate growth in the digital accessories market outside of the US using the InMotion format. It will also offer a platform to launch the WH Smith airport format into the US.

WH Smith will continue to work with InMotion management team following the acquisition.

Jeremy Smith, president and chief executive of InMotion, added: “The team at InMotion are delighted to be joining such an iconic business with a high growth international division. Working together, we look forward to combining our expertise in travel retail to grow the InMotion business further both within and outside of the US, while at the same time accelerating WH Smith’s international growth strategy.”

The transaction is expected to complete before the end of the year.

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