Smiths News PLC Acquisition

Posted: 14th June 2012 09:14

Smiths News PLC ('Smiths News'), the UK's leading wholesaler of newspapers, magazines and books, is pleased to announce its wholly owned book wholesaling business Bertram Books ('Bertrams'), has acquired Houtschild Internationale Boekhandel B.V. ('Houtschild') from Blackwell UK Ltd for a net consideration of €0.7 million satisfied in cash via its subsidiary Dawson Books Ltd ('Dawsons').

Houtschild, based in the Netherlands, is a leading supplier of books and journals into both academic libraries and Government Institutions across Northern Europe and is very well regarded by a loyal customer base.  In the year ended 30 June 2011, Houtschild generated revenues of €4.9 million.

The acquisition provides additional scale, infrastructure and expertise as well as greater access to key customers and geographies which is consistent with our stated international expansion strategy.  We believe the combination will deliver synergy benefits once the integration process is complete.

This acquisition will also further facilitate Dawsons' digital expansion outside of the UK.  Its integrated offer of physical and digital books will be an important competitive differentiator in driving medium term sales growth in the region.

The transaction will be immediately earnings accretive.  It demonstrates Smiths News' ability to grow organically whilst capitalising on strategic bolt-on opportunities and generating additional shareholder value.
Mark Cashmore, Chief Executive Officer of Smiths News PLC, said:
"We are delighted to have completed this acquisition, which is an excellent addition to our books business.  Houtschild represents a clear international strategic step for Bertrams consistent with our stated aim.  The Group will benefit from synergies, an increase in scale and a stronger sales presence in Northern Europe, as well as accelerating the digital platform roll out."

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