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Wottakar’s: here, there and everywhere

In what’s seen as a surprising move, HMV — which of course, has been after taking over Ottakar’s so much that the Competition Commission is looking into itis now the subject of a takeover bid. The culprit is Permira, a private-equity firm that has asked advice of Merrill Lynch on how to properly take HMV over (and shell out a reported 800 million pounds in the process.) Though Permira has not yet made its approach, the Times reports that this should happen sometime this week.

As a result, HMV stock prices soared a whopping 18% after a long period of plummeting in the face of Alan Giles’ shocking resignation and financial woes. But what happens to Ottakar’s? Speaking to the Bookseller, Nick Bubb of Evolution Securities said that a takeover of HMV by Permira would make an Ottakar’s bid “less likely”. “We doubt if Permira would be keen to splash more cash around. But if HMV are not going to bid, the field could be opened up for W H Smith to get Ottakar’s at an attractive price.”

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