World of Books & Ziffit

DEALS: World of Books & Ziffit

World of Books & Ziffit logo

THE DEAL

  • Sector: Consumer, Retail and Leisure
  • Deal type: Company Sale – Family/Private
  • Deal size: Undisclosed
  • Year: 2016
  • Lead partner: Simon Davies

DEAL TEAM

Bilal Hasan Simon Davies

Acting as the lead advisor, Spectrum Corporate Finance successfully advised the shareholders on the sale of A World of Buzz Limited, the parent company of World of Books (“WOB”) and Ziffit, to Bridges Ventures.

World of Books is the UK’s leading used book, DVD, CD and console game reseller. Founded in 2002, the business has been a pioneer in the reuse and recycling of books that might otherwise go to landfill. It purchases surplus books from charity shops, not only saving them waste disposal costs but also generating significant income (equivalent to an economic benefit of £11m in the last five years alone). In addition, through its proprietary Ziffit ‘scan and send’ app it collects unwanted books directly from consumers. After processing all these books on its internally developed technology platform, it re-sells as many as possible (via its own website and other marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay), and recycles the rest to make corrugated cardboard packaging and newsprint. This allows World of Books to offer over 2m high-quality, low-cost used books for sale – while also reducing carbon emissions.

Spectrum ran a full marketing process and the business attracted global interest from both trade and private equity buyers, before agreeing to sell to Bridges Ventures, supported by the incumbent management team.

Stephen Boobyer will lead this new chapter of the Group’s growth as CEO. He will be supported by the existing management team, all of whom have reinvested part of their investment. Bridges Partner Oliver Wyncoll and Investment Director James Hurrell will join the Board, while an experienced non-executive chairman will also be appointed in due course.

Legal advice was provided to the shareholders by Sean Kelly at Pitmans.

“Simon, Bilal and the rest of the team at Spectrum have responded at every turn with help, guidance and quality advice. We all very much appreciate the role they have played in making this transaction happen." Kenneth Blair, previously Chairman of World of Books
“Our sincere thanks go to Simon and Bilal for their help in getting this deal over the line. It feels like we have at last achieved the first stage of our journey and realised many personal ambitions. We have thoroughly enjoyed working with the Spectrum team and negotiating the various hurdles along the way.” Stephen Boobyer, Chief Executive Officer at World of Books
“We are delighted to partner World of Books as it continues its impressive journey; this simply wouldn’t have been possible without the contribution of Simon and Bilal. From the outset, they understood the business opportunity for Bridges as an impact investor and have been instrumental in making the deal happen. When issues arose, as inevitably they do on any transaction, their pragmatic approach, often involving lateral thinking, ensured that all matters were successfully resolved in a timely manner. From signing heads of terms, we managed to complete in just 8 weeks, which is a genuine testament to the quality of the process Spectrum managed. A job well done!” Oliver Wyncoll, Partner at Bridges Ventures