Irish retailer Eason has bought indie chain Dubray Books for an undisclosed sum, the companies have announced.
Eason said Dubray would be retained as a separate brand and its retail branches would continue in their current format. Further branches of the indie in locations that don't cater to Eason's categories will also be considered in the future.
Dubray’s management team will also stay in place, with m.d. Maria Dickenson joining the Eason executive team.
She said: “This acquisition will be positive for the Irish book trade, ensuring that Irish publishing can continue to flourish with the support of local Irish-owned booksellers with wide customer appeal like Eason and the specialist credentials of Dubray.
“Our new common ownership will strengthen our ability to continue supporting and promoting local talent while continuing to meet the needs of our existing loyal customers.”
Dubray is one of Ireland’s biggest indies, with eight stores across the country, employing around 90 people. It has annual sales of over €9m and generates operating profits of approximately €0.7m.
Eason said the acquisition had been facilitated by the injection of €20 million of capital into the Eason’s retail business by shareholders in 2019.
C.e.o. Liam Hanly said the deal would help “secure the future” of both firms. He said: “As a specialist book retailer, Dubray reaches a different customer audience to Eason and the brand will therefore complement the wider Eason offering.
“We are very excited by the potential to grow the Dubray business in conjunction with the continued development of the existing Eason retail offering in the coming years.”
Commenting on behalf of Dubray owners the Barry family, Gemma Barry, said: “After nearly 50 years in business, the transition in ownership to Eason is a logical step for Dubray and it will secure the future of the Dubray brand as a specialist book retailer.
"Eason’s commitment to the Dubray brand and store estate is a great reflection on the quality and passion of our people, our loyal customer base and compelling retail proposition. I look forward to seeing the business continue to flourish under Eason’s ownership.”