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June 2018
UK & Ireland, £100m - £500m

Liberty advises management of Waterstones on their acquisition by Elliott Advisors

I, and the wider management team, are very grateful to Liberty for their guidance and support throughout the transaction process.

James Daunt
CEO of Waterstones

Elliott Advisors, the UK private equity arm of US hedge fund Elliott Management Corporation, has acquired book retailer Waterstones

Lynwood Investments, a vehicle belonging to Russian billionaire Alexander Mamut, will retain an interest post-deal.

Waterstones operates a chain of 283 bookshops located across the UK and Ireland, and in The Netherlands and Belgium, and had sales of over£400m in the year to end April 2017.

James Daunt, CEO of Waterstones since 2011, will remain as CEO under new ownership, as will his key leadership team.

Liberty advised James and his team on their investments in the new company and their management incentive arrangements going forward.

James Daunt said: “This is a very happy outcome for Waterstones. Our booksellers can be immensely proud to have proved through good, old-fashioned bookselling, the enduring appeal and worth of real bookshops. I thank Lynwood Investments for their invaluable support through this turnaround, and we enter new ownership looking forward with great optimism to the next chapter in the development of Waterstones”.

As the leading physical book retailer in the UK, Waterstones is a mainstay of UK high streets and has a huge and loyal customer base. James and his team have done an outstanding job in turning around the business in recent years and are looking forward to continuing to build and grow the business.

Michael McDonagh