TheSpot Heads To the Library

[May 18] Australian online retailer TheSpot has announced plans to create
the region’s largest online book retailer through a merger with a New
Zealand e-tailer and bookstore chain Angus & Robertson Bookworld.

The deal propels TheSpot into one of the largest growth categories on
the Internet by establishing a ‘clicks and mortar’ link with Angus &
Robertson’s 170 outlets across Australia.

The newly merged company is backed by Angus & Robertson in Australia and
Whitcoulls in New Zealand, and has the investment support of Amazon and f2 Investments, the Fairfax Interactive Network‘s investment
vehicle.

Under the deal, the existing Angus & Robertson Web site will be
incorporated into TheSpot’s portal, which will act as the exclusive online
retail vehicle for Angus & Robertson, and provide access to over 1.5
million Angus & Robertson titles, delivery, Australian pricing and titles,
and a returns infrastructure.

“Most Australian online book purchasers go to U.S. Web sites,” said TheSpot
chief executive officer Justin Punch. “Until now there has not been a local
alternative with the choice, value and service that we will offer”.

Shareholder and investor, the chief executive of f2 Nigel Dews, said the
merger would build substantially on TheSpot’s moves into toys and beauty
which have preceded this deal.

“The merger creates a Trans-Tasman leader with the deepest
locally-tailored offering of books available,” he said. “The combined
business will not only be good for the shareholders of the company, but
also for the growth of retail e-commerce in Australia”.

The merged company will retain the individual brand names on the local
market, and Punch will assume the position of chief executive officer.

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