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WHSmith Acquires InMotion

U.K retailer WHSmith PLC has agreed to acquire American travel retailer InMotion for $198 million. InMotion, a digital accessories retailer in North America, operates 114 stores across 43 airports in the United States.

The purchase will double the size of WHSmith’s international business, providing a platform from which to expand WHSmith’s international travel business to the U.S. market, the company said. The purchase will also provide opportunities for the U.K. company to grow a digital accessories format in key markets outside of North America.

“The travel retail market in North America for digital accessories offers significant growth potential,” said Stephen Clarke, group chief executive, WHSmith. “As the market leader, recognized for its best-in-class customer service, InMotion is well positioned to take advantage of that potential.”

“In addition, InMotion provides us with a scalable platform to launch the WHSmith airport format into the U.S., the world’s largest travel retail market for news, books and convenience products,” Clarke added.

Jeremy Smith, president and CEO of InMotion, commented: “The team at InMotion are delighted to be joining such an iconic business with a high growth international division. Working together, we look forward to combining our expertise in travel retail to grow the InMotion business further both within and outside of the U.S., while at the same time accelerating WHSmith’s international growth strategy.”

WHSmith said InMotion will retain its senior management to lead the business, and the transaction is expected to be complete by the end of this year.