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No role for Waterstone after Mamut takeover
20.05.11 | Lisa Campbell
Tim Waterstone will take no role in the chain bearing his name and had no involvement in the Alexander Mamut-led acqusition of Waterstone's, The Bookseller can reveal.
The HMV Group announced this morning Waterstone’s that has been sold to Mamut’s A&NN Group for £53m, with London bookseller and close friend of the Russian billionaire James Daunt to become the managing director of the chain, as current head Dominic Myers takes up a new position at the HMV Group.
For months Waterstone was rumoured to be in alliance to buy Waterstone’s with Mamut in what would have been his sixth bid to buy back the chain. However, Daunt told The Bookseller Waterstone does not have a part in the final arrangement. He said: “Tim is not involved at all. Tim is a great friend of Daunt bookshop and a customer here and I am sure we will benefit from his wisdom, but he is not in this at all, he is not taking an advisory role.”
Daunt said he hoped he wouldn’t have to close any Waterstone's stores, but said he would know more about the business when he officially took up his role on 2nd July. He said: “I need to talk to [the staff] in there. Obviously I hope not, but these forward-looking questions are too premature at the moment.”
The new m.d. said he was looking forward to meeting the staff at Waterstone’s and said while he could not confirm his plans for the chain until he began at the company, digital development was “obviously” key. He said: “Digital is clearly important, but I need to talk to them at Waterstone’s . . . Talking to the staff is the first thing, that is my priority, [about] what they do and how they do it. I will be taking one step at a time.”
Mamut would not be hands on in running the company, he added. “Alexander has great interest in the company but he has rather bigger fish to fry,” Daunt said.