Eason Retail PLC (“Eason”) and Dubray Books Limited (“Dubray”) are delighted to announce the completion of the acquisition of the business and trade of Dubray by Eason. The acquisition is a very positive initiative for both businesses.
Dubray employs approximately 90 people, has annual sales of over €9 million and generates operating profits of approximately €0.7 million. Under the ownership of the Barry family the business continued to expand its operations and comprises eight bookstores across the Greater Dublin Area and Galway.
Eason has long admired Dubray’s customer proposition as a specialist bookseller and intends to retain Dubray as a separate brand, along with its retail outlets in their current format. Eason will continue to develop its own retail proposition, which serves a different customer profile, based on a broader product offering and five core categories that see a popular book range complimented by stationery, cards, gifts and newspapers & magazines.
Dubray will continue to operate in its current format as a stand-alone division within Eason under the Dubray brand. The current Dubray management team, led by Maria Dickenson, will continue to operate the Dubray stores. Maria will join the Eason executive team, working with the current members and the Eason Group CEO, Liam Hanly. Dubray and the Barry family were attracted to Eason because it is a long-established, Irish-owned, independent retail business, with a shared passion for books and a commitment to maintaining the Dubray brand into the future.
Commenting on the acquisition: Liam Hanly, CEO, Eason Group, said: “We are delighted to have completed this acquisition and believe the coming together of Eason and Dubray will help secure the future of two renowned Irish retail brands. As a specialist book retailer, Dubray reaches a different customer audience to Eason and the brand will therefore complement the wider Eason offering. We are very excited by the potential to grow the Dubray business in conjunction with the continued development of the existing Eason retail offering in the coming years.”
Commenting on behalf of the Barry family, Gemma Barry, said: “After nearly 50 years in business, the transition in ownership to Eason is a logical step for Dubray and it will secure the future of the Dubray brand as a specialist book retailer. Eason’s commitment to the Dubray brand and store estate is a great reflection on the quality and passion of our people, our loyal customer base and compelling retail proposition. I look forward to seeing the business continue to flourish under Eason’s ownership.”
Maria Dickenson, Managing Director of Dubray, commented: “This acquisition will be positive for the Irish book trade, ensuring that Irish publishing can continue to flourish with the support of local Irish-owned booksellers with wide customer appeal like Eason and the specialist credentials of Dubray. Our new common ownership will strengthen our ability to continue supporting and promoting local talent while continuing to meet the needs of our existing loyal customers.”
Founded in 1866, Eason is Ireland’s oldest book retailer. The acquisition of Dubray has been facilitated by the injection of €20 million of capital into the Eason’s retail business by Eason shareholders in 2019.
The acquisition is consistent with Eason’s retail strategy to position its business for a sustainable future. This includes a focus on repositioning its business to a more specialised and consumer experience-led proposition, in the face of an evolving retail environment and trends, driven by changing consumer requirements and expectations. The transaction will make a significant positive contribution to Eason’s overall financial performance.
Eason received financial and tax due diligence services from BDO in respect of the transaction and legal advice from Orpen Franks Solicitors. Dubray was advised by Gerard Heffernan, Heffernan Financial Advisory, and McCann Fitzgerald Solicitors. RSM Ireland provided transaction services support.