Friday, May 27, 2011

Couple pen a happy ending for Whitcoulls

By Jamie Gray in the New Zealand Hearld

 Friday May 27, 2011

Anne Norman and David Norman. Photo / Sarah Ivey

The troubled Whitcoulls and Borders chains have been sold to the husband-and-wife team behind Farmers, with indications that the majority of stores will remain open.
The bookstore chains' futures were shrouded in uncertainty after their Australian owners, REDGroup, went into voluntary administration in February, owing unsecured creditors $21.5 million.

But Anne and David Norman's deal struck yesterday "guarantees the future of the majority of stores and has preserved more than 900 jobs", according to Steve Sherman of Sydney administrators Ferrier Hodgson.
Mr Sherman added that the sale was a "a very good result" but declined to reveal the price.

The National Distribution Union said it was cautiously optimistic, with general secretary Robert Reid saying the 900 workers involved would welcome the news that their jobs were now more secure.
The chains have been sold to Project Mark, a company in the Normans' James Pascoe Group.
The group operates Pascoes, Farmers, Stewart Dawsons, Goldmark, Stevens, Prouds and Angus & Coote and employs more than 9000 staff in New Zealand and Australia.

Full report at NZ Herald.

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