Friday, August 10, 2007

WH Smiths Interested in Borders

The Manchester Evening News is reporting that WH Smiths may be considering a bid for the UK operations of Borders which were placed on the block as part of the company's restructuring.
However, a bid from WH Smith could face a number of hurdles, including competition issues, with objections from the books industry and smaller retailers if a bid for Borders in the UK was successful. Borders employs around 2,000 people in the UK and operates 71 stores - consisting of 41 Borders stores, 27 Books etc stores and three Borders express sites.It is thought the sale could generate bids of around £50 million. WH Smith is estimated to hold a 16 per cent share of the British books market, while Borders' share is thought to stand at around seven per cent.

Smith's has also faced a tough retail environment over the past several years but under the direction of CEO Kate Swann the company has rebuilt their store merchandise and redesigned their stores to positive effect.

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