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Today in Wottakar’s: HMV officially makes the buy

Has the saga finally ended? Will WHSmith counter-offer? It’s all so exhausting to keep up, but Reuters reports that HMV will finally, finally buy Ottakar’s for a cut-price 62.8 million pounds (or a measly 285p per share) to help its own books chain cope with stiff competition from supermarkets and the Internet.

“Over the past year the book market has undergone a significant change with new levels of competition from the supermarkets and on-line retailers impacting all specialist booksellers and in particular those with insufficient scale to compete on equal terms,” Ottakar’s Chairman Philip Dunne said in a statement, explaining why he was backing HMV’s offer.

As it happens, on Tuesday, Ottakar’s shares closed at 287p, just above HMV’s offer price. Not exactly a huge profit margin going on here..

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