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Marketing campaign starts for New Zealand book stores

Monday 14th March 2011

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A marketing campaign has started to sell New Zealand's biggest book retailing chains, Whitcoulls, Borders New Zealand and Bennetts after the Australian owner of the stores collapsed last month.

The administrators of REDgroup Retail are seeking expressions of interest for 74 Whitcoulls, nine Bennetts and five Borders stores in New Zealand.

Ferrier Hodgson partner and administrator of REDgroup Retail Steve Sherman, said there have already been a number of unsolicited approaches regarding the New Zealand business.

The administrators were called in last month to RedGroup, which is controlled by private equity group PEP.

Whitcombe and Tombs was established in 1888 while Coulls Somerville Wilkie was established in 1871. The two companies merged in 1971 and became Whitcoulls.

"These brands are so well known in New Zealand, it should come as no surprise a number of parties have come forward interested to know more," Sherman said.

"The expression of interest process will establish a more formal framework for us to manage that interest."

The marketing campaign would allow the administrators to develop a well-informed opinion about the best course of action for creditors, he said.



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