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JB Hi Fi Executives Selling Out

Queensland Book Distribution a Company that was acquired by Terry Smart the CEO of The Good Guys and former CEO of JB Hi Fi along with the founder of the big CE retail chain Richard Uechtritz is up for sale and people are fighting to try and buy the business.

Five years after a consortium of PE bigwigs secretly formed ‘Cover Syndicate’ to acquire QBD Books, the country’s ‘leading omnichannel book retailer’ is back on the block with a forecast $20M a year in earnings.

The bookstore group has grown significantly since the Midas touch of Smart, Uechtritz and former JB Hi Fi Chairman Greg Richards was added to the entity.

Back 2016, when the consortium secretly formed “Cover Syndicate” to acquire QBD Books, whose roots trace back to Queensland Book Depot, which was set up by the Uniting Church in the late 1890s to sell religious materials Smart and Uechtritz have applied their retailing skills to turn the bookstore into a success with several retail malls housing one of their store close to a JB Hi Fi or The Good Guys store.

Today there are 79 company-owned bookstores (all profitable) generating $130 million in revenue, this makes them the biggest bookstore network in Australia, and Australian Geographic’s exclusive bricks & mortar retail partner.

Today there are 24 stores in Queensland and New South Wales, 15 in Victoria, five in South Australia, eight in Western Australia and one in both the Northern Territory and Tasmania.

The Financial Review claims that the business is expected to attract interest from several private equity firms.

The QBD Books’ bricks and mortar presence means it is highly unlikely to get a bid anywhere near 30-times earnings, the company reckon it has a bright future online.

It recently added its products to Wesfarmers’ Catch.com and eBay marketplaces.

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