UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has purchased 64% of e-book company Anobii. Sainsbury’s picked up the 64% stake in e-book retailer from UK music and entertainment company HMV. You might think this deal would come with a large price tag, and you would be absolutely and completely wrong.
According to reports, Sainsbury’s paid HMV a whopping price of £1 for the 64% stake. Generally, in this sort of situation there is some amount of debt that Sainsbury’s likely assumed. That would make the sale more profitable for HMV that it would seem based on a sales price working out to $1.55 here in the US.
Anobii currently has about 60,000 customers internationally and will allow Sainsbury’s compete with UK supermarket rival Tesco. It also appears that other shareholders in Anobii, who happened to be major publishers HarperCollins, Penguin, and Random House UK, are all staying on board. HMV is apparently in a rather bad financial situation and is looking to shed some of its assets quickly. There has to be some sort of backroom dealing now because £1 certainly doesn’t justify the sell alone in the business world.