M and A watch: Compton and Woodhouse, Borders, Ondrives, and Amazon


Haroldrex Ventures, a new company led by chief executive Mark
Dugdale, acquired the assets of collectibles and gifts cataloguer
Compton & Woodhouse from administrators BDO Stoy Hayward.
Haroldrex’s other shareholders include former managers and
shareholders in Compton & Woodhouse, three key suppliers, and two
outside investors. In a statement Dugdale said that “the
intention is to enlarge the active trading customer base so that
the business returns to growth and profitability”.

Book retailer Borders underwent a management buyout led by chief
executive Philip Downer and finance director Mark Little in July.
The company had been owned by private equity firm Risk Capital
Partners. The buyout was funded by Valco Capital Partners, the
private equity arm of restructuring specialist Hilco, though
terms of the deal were not disclosed. Risk Capital Partners paid
£10 million up front for Borders in 2007, with the option of
another £10 million of deferred cash based on future
performance.

Ondrives, a cataloguer of mechanical drive and manufacturing
components, and competitor Rino Industries have merged. The
combined business is now operating under the Ondrives brand. All
products have been amalgamated into one 1,040-page catalogue, and
the business now trades from just one website.

And etail behemoth Amazon has agreed to buy online footwear
superstore Zappos.com. Amazon is paying 10 million shares of its
stock, worth more than $800 million (£487 million), plus
another $40 million (£24.3 million) in cash and other stock,
for Zappos. Amazon launched its own footwear website,
Endless.com, two years ago, but the effort has not been deemed a
success.

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