Waterstone to be Bought Soon
British Waterstone might end in Russian hands. According to the sources, billionaire Alexander Mamut is very close to making an offer to buy the book chain that is being sold off by HMV.
Mr. Mamut is a friend of the bookstore chain’s founder, Tim Waterstone and will probably table a bid, avoiding market conditions to deteriorate more. His offer is expected to be around £35m, less than the price (£50m-£75m) valued by experts. Whether Mr. Waterstone will keep his role in the group is still unknown.
Due to HMV’s reduced debt burden, the sale of UK book chain is seeing an urgent revival. With a market capitalization of £45m, HMV must raise money after advices to beware the danger of breaching its banking covenants in January. This year, the company might end with a debt of £130m. In a last effort to rescue its finances, HMV plans to close 60 stores. The company is also trying to achieve a larger customer line by selling products such as iPhones and computers in their shops.
A combination of inability to adapt itself to new costumer’s behavior - such as the purchase of music and books on the internet – and weak consumer sentiment in the UK retail sector are responsible for Waterstone’s third profit warning of the year, published this month.
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