But saving Waterstones’ 280 stores seemed practically impossible. The company was £170 million (about $260 million) in debt and about to file for bankruptcy when, miraculously, it was rescued by the billionaire Alexander Mamut, a complicated, influential figure in Putin’s Russia who one British broadsheet dubbed “the most powerful oligarch you have never heard of.” Mamut had been talking to Daunt before the sale and immediately brought him aboard to right the ship. “He wanted to make a mark in the United Kingdom, where he had a house, educated his son, and this seemed a positive, beneficial thing worth saving,” Daunt said of Waterstones’ benefactor. “Other people buy football clubs, fund art galleries—this was his thing.”Hard to see how a presumed influx of cash wasn't a major factor.
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
… Barnes & Noble is dying. Waterstones in the U.K. is thriving. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)