WH Smith plans to acquire InMotion for £155 million

The retailer is looking to acquire the US airport chain in order to diversify its business, as high street sales continue to decline.

WH Smith
Source: Bloomberg

WH Smith (LON:SMWH) announced on Tuesday that is plans to acquire pure play travel retailer InMotion for around £155 million ($198 million), with the deal part of a wider strategic shift that will see the company concentrate on building a stronger travel business in light of declining high street sales.

InMotion is a market leading retailer of digital accessories with a strong presence in US airports, with the business performing well and boasting ‘attractive growth prospects’, according to a press release by WH Smith.

‘The acquisition of InMotion is an exciting value creation opportunity for the WH Smith Group and marks a major step in our international travel retail growth strategy,’ WH Smith Group CEO Stephen Clarke said.

‘It doubles the size of our international travel business and provides us with attractive growth opportunities.’

‘The travel retail market in North America for digital accessories offers significant growth potential,’ he added.

InMotion in focus

InMotion was established in 1998, with the company now boasting 114 stores across 42 airports in the US, with a presence in nine of the top 10 busiest airports.

The company sells a wide range of digital accessories and has established strong relationships with a variety of suppliers that supply everything from premium headphones and mobile power banks to portable speaker and cameras.

InMotion has delivered like-for-like sales growth of 13% this year, with the company looking to generate around $166 million in sales at the end of the financial year in December and an EBITDA of around $23 million.

‘The team at InMotion are delighted to be joining such an iconic business with a high growth international division,’ President and CEO of InMotion Jeremy Smith said.

‘Working together, we look forward to combining our expertise in travel retail to grow the InMotion business further both within and outside of the US, while at the same time accelerating WH Smith’s international growth strategy.’

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