Shareholders should let Swann spread her wings

<p>Another spell of uncertainty may paralyse WHS.</p><p>W H Smith shareholders and staff have had a depressing year, and will be sorely tempted by any serious bid to take the group into private hands. So the news of an approach from equity house Permira was cannily timed, overshadowing new c.e.o. Kate Swann's first chance to showcase her plans to analysts this week.</p><p>The approach brings a familiar name back into the frame: Keith Hamill. As WHS group finance director in the late 1990s, Hamill steered the sale of Waterstone's to HMV. He has extensive high street retail experience, and h...

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