Waterstone drafts in FD for bid to regain bookstore

Tim Waterstone has enlisted Financial Dynamics for his £280m bid to reclaim ownership of the bookstore he founded.

He sold the chain to WH Smith in 1989 for £9.3m, before attempting to buy it back in 1997 (by bidding for Smiths).

His latest offer, to prise the brand from current owner HMV, comes as the music store plans to buy rival bookstore Ottakar's.

FD will have to convince HMV shareholders of the value of Waterstone's offer, and not to pursue the £91m bid for Ottakar's, currently the subject of an investigation by the Competition Commission .

Former Penguin UK CEO Anthony Forbes Watson – Waterstone's proposed CEO if his offer is successful – said an HMV purchase of Ottakar's would be a 'perilous distraction' from the bid team's plans to 're-establish Waterstone's at the hub of the UK book world'.
Waterstone wants to strike a deal before the commission gives its expected clearance for HMV to table another bid for Ottakar's.

His bid is funded by Lazard Private Equity Partners.

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