Bookstore Waterstones has agreed to buy Foyles, the iconic smaller rival, in an attempt to ward off Amazon's expansion, as announced today.
The deal, which is expected to be completed before the end of the year, puts an end to 115 years of Foyles family ownership.
Waterstones managing director James Daunt said: & # 39; We are honored with entrusting the Foyles business and are looking forward to joining forces with the Foyles sales team.
Together we will be stronger and better positioned to protect and defend the pleasures of real bookstores in the light of Amazon's call to the siren. & # 39;
Iconic: Foyles flagship bookshop on Charing Cross Road, London
The companies have not yet disclosed the full terms of the deal, but the acquisition includes the bookseller Hatchards in London, which was founded in 1797, and the bookseller Hodges Figgis, which celebrates its 250th anniversary this year.
Foyles, founded in 1903 by William and Gilbert Foyle, said that the decision to sell is a tough decision & # 39; was, but that it protects Foyles & # 39; for the well-being of the company, its staff and its customers.
William's grandson Christopher, who took over the company 19 years ago, said: "My family and I are very happy that Foyles is starting a new chapter, one in which the future of the brand is secured and the personality is protected .
& # 39; I look forward to witnessing the exciting times for the company that was founded 115 years ago by my grandfather and his brother. & # 39;
Foyles added in a statement: "James Daunt […] has assured us of his wish to retain and celebrate the name Foyles and our various book sales identity. & # 39;
It said that once the sale is complete, chief executive Paul Currie and financial director John Browne will leave the company.
Best known for its former flagship branch in Charing Cross Road, central London – once listed as the world's largest bookstore with 30 miles of shelves – Foyles moved its main store a few doors down in 2014.
It also has another three stores in the capital, as well as stores in Bristol, Birmingham and Chelmsford.
Foyles made a pre-tax loss of £ 88,800 in the 12 months to 30 June 2017, despite a 6 percent increase in sales to £ 26.6 million. At that time, the directors said that increased fear of terrorism and the subsequent extra security measures meant fewer customers at the main locations.
Waterstones is one of Britain's largest bookshops with 283 stores in the United Kingdom and more than 3,000 employees. It has been purchased by hedge fund Elliott Advisors in April this year in April of this year.
The investors are supposed to have paid as much as £ 250 million for Waterstones from the previous owner, the Russian billionaire Alexander Mamut.