WHSmith investors back £305m MRG takeover

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WHSmith Gatwick North Terminal
WHSmith Gatwick North Terminal

WHSmith investors have officially backed its £305m ($400m) takeover of Las Vegas-based travel business Marshall Retail Group (MRG), effectively doubling the size of its international travel operations.

 

The British retailer revealed in October its intentions to acquire MRG, describing it as a ‘compelling opportunity to accelerate the growth of WHSmith’s International Travel business in the $3.2 billion (£2.4 billion) US airport travel retail market.”

 

The UK retailer expressed interest in expanding its travel operations earlier in the year with the acquisition of US digital accessories airport retailer InMotion.

 

At the time of its InMotion acquisition, MRG had 170 stores in the US, 59 of them in airports.

 

The move consolidates the UK firm’s expansion into travel as a strategy for riding out the current high-street slowdown.

 

New WHSmith chief executive Carl Cowling said: “MRG is a highly successful US travel retailer with a fast growing airport business.

 

“This acquisition will accelerate the growth of our international travel business and combined with InMotion, the market leading digital accessories airport retailer that we acquired last year, will significantly enhance our scale and growth opportunities in the US, a large and fast growing travel retail market.

 

“This is an exciting value creating opportunity, entirely in line with our strategy.”

 

In October WHSmith announced the proposed acquisition would be financed through a combination of new debt and equity.

 

www.whsmithplc.co.uk

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