September 19, 2003

Airports - Hudson Acquires WHSmith in US

Hudson Group Acquires WHSmith US Stores

Hudson Group Acquires WHSmith’s U.S. Airport Stores

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (September 19, 2003) - Hudson Group here plans to expand its North American airport and commuter station retail operations by acquiring WHSmith’s U.S. airport retail business.

Hudson Group signed an agreement to acquire 180 WHSmith stores in 23 airports for $64 million. The deal is contingent upon regulatory approval and the assignment of leases from the stores’ respective airport authorities, Hudson said.

The acquisition would put Hudson Group’s total store count at 450. Hudson currently operates shops using the Hudson News, Euro Café and National Geographic names.

WHSmith, London, will maintain no operations in the United States after February 2004, according to a company spokesman. In a separate announcement from the United Kingdom, where WHSmith is publicly traded, WHSmith said it will sell its U.S. hotel retailing operations to former management for $12.5 million.

WHSmith’s annual sales have declined for four consecutive years.

Posted at September 19, 2003 03:37 PM