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Waterstones owner Mamut considering sale of the chain

Waterstones owner Alexander Mamut has asked corporate advisors from the investment banking company N M Rothschild to explore a £250m (A$429.5m) sale of the UK bookselling chain, reports the Sunday Times.

According to the Sunday Times N M Rothschild is working on ‘funding options’ for Waterstones, but is also contacting potential buyers, with ‘several private equity firms’ already studying the business.

The move comes amid reports that Mamut, one of the largest shareholders in the Russian bank Otkritie, is attempting to raise funds. Otkritie has been taken over by the Russian central bank, and it has been reported that a new management team is demanding Otkritie shareholders hand over assets to help recuperate losses.

Waterstones MD James Daunt told the Bookseller that the report seemed ‘a sensible enough story’, although he dismissed the Otkritie angle as ‘a red herring’. ‘He [Mamut] will sell us because that is what he does—buys companies, invests, turns them around and then sells them. If he can get the £200m+ for us he will have done very well!’


Category: International news