Strange bedfellows: what Elliott Advisors wants with Waterstones

The sale of Waterstones to hedge fund/private equity business Elliott Advisors has been universally heralded as good news, with publishing chief executives relieved that managing director James Daunt will be able to continue his transformational work at the chain that he and Alexander Mamut rescued back in 2011.

But there is another view. It is rare that a private equity purchase of a book business runs entirely smoothly. The book trade is a long term operation ill-suited to the short term ambitions of financiers. For every Endless, which has owned The Works since 2008, and which now also ...

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