W H Smith 'could buy Dutch Ako chain'

W H Smith 'could buy Dutch Ako chain'

The Dutch bookshop chain Ako could be sold to W H Smith, according to a report in De Telegraaf.

The newspaper said that publishing group Audax, which owns Ako, was in exclusive discussions with W H Smith despite interest from other players, named as Bruna and Hachette.

However Audax c.e.o. Eric Willems told Dutch book trade publication Boekblad that Audax was not working to sell Ako, saying it was "a strategically important part of Audax."

A spokesperson for W H Smith told The Bookseller: "We would never comment on speculation."

A spokesperson for Hachette Livre denied the claim made by De Telegraaf. Bruna declined to comment on the report to Boekblad.