Swiss book retailer Orell Fuessli in talks to buy Thalia, say sources: Reuters

Swiss books retailer Orell Fuessli is in talks to buy German peer Thalia, two people familiar with the deal said.

Negotiations between the Swiss group and the sellers – buyout group Advent and Germany’s Kreke family – are not yet exclusive and one or two other rivals from German-speaking countries remain interested in the asset, they added.

Advent and Orell Fuessli declined to comment, while Thalia was not immediately available for comment.

Thalia, which has been carved out of books-to-cosmetics retailer Douglas, is expected to fetch a price tag of roughly 100 million euros ($107 million), the sources said.

Douglas, which now specialises in selling perfume, shampoo and makeup, was sold to peer investor CVC in summer. Other former Douglas businesses, such as fashion retailer

AppelrathCuepper and Christ jewellery, stores have also been divested.

Thalia, which runs 210 book stores in Germany, has struggled with the rise of online retailers like Amazon.

Thalia and Orell Fuessli have a joint venture in Switzerland with an annual turnover of 200 million Swiss francs ($199 million).