3 July 2006
Waterstone's parent company, HMV Group plc, today completed the acquisition of Ottakar's for £62.9m.
The combination of Waterstone's and Ottakar's brings together two businesses with a very similar approach to bookselling; Waterstone's and Ottakar's are both specialists,offering a wide range of titles and staffed by knowledgeable booksellers with a high degree of decision-making at local store level. The newly enlarged business will trade from over 330 stores.
Bookselling in the UK has been impacted by intensifying competition, and the combined business will be able to better respond to this competitive retail environment and,crucially, to safeguard specialist bookselling on the high street.
The store portfolios of both businesses are highly complementary, and the integration of Ottakar's into Waterstone's will deliver cost savings and economies in the newly enlarged business.
It is envisaged that by Christmas 2006 all branches of Ottakar's will be rebranded as Waterstone's.