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Connect Group Plc (SNWS)

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Monday 22 January, 2018

Connect Group Plc

Update on the Disposal of the Books Division

RNS Number : 4943C
Connect Group PLC
22 January 2018

This announcement contains inside information


Connect Group PLC

("Connect Group" or "the Group")


Update on the Disposal of the Books division to Aurelius Equity Opportunities


We refer to our announcement of 21 December 2017 that we had signed an agreement ("SPA") to dispose of our Books Division to the listed pan-European mid-market investor Aurelius Equity Opportunities SE & Co. KGaA (together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, "Aurelius").


The disposal was conditional only on anti-trust merger approval from the German Federal Cartel Office which was subsequently received (as expected) on 17 January 2018.  As a result, the SPA is now unconditional and under its terms completion is obliged to occur by 31 January 2018 at the latest.


Despite this, Connect Group has been notified by a letter received on Sunday 21 January 2018 stating, inter alia, that Aurelius Omega Ltd (the purchasing vehicle) "can no longer complete on the current terms (as we, the Directors of Aurelius Omega Ltd, can see no way of financing this transaction)". Connect Group has sought urgently to clarify Aurelius' position, including the legal basis, if any, upon which it purports not to complete on the transaction and we have reiterated in writing that Aurelius is legally obliged to complete the transaction on or before 31 January 2018.  Further, Connect Group has reserved its right to pursue legal redress against Aurelius in light of this development.


Connect Group will make a further announcement in due course when appropriate.




Connect Group PLC

Mark Cashmore, Chief Executive Officer

David Bauernfeind, Chief Financial Officer


01793 563641



Richard Oldworth / Jamie Hooper

[email protected]


020 7466 5000




About Connect Group


Connect Group PLC is a UK based specialist distributor and a leading provider of distribution solutions in complex and fragmented markets.  The Group's networks are focused on serving high drop density early morning deliveries, and the demands of mixed and irregular sized freight.


The Group's core businesses are each leading players in their markets:


Early Distribution


Smiths News is the UK's largest newspaper and magazine wholesaling business with an approximate 55 per cent. market share. It distributes newspapers and magazines on behalf of the major national and regional publishers, delivering to approximately 27,000 customers across England and Wales on a daily basis. The speed of turnaround and density of Smiths News' coverage is critical to one of the world's fastest physical supply chains.


Pass My Parcel is a wholly owned Click & Collect service which leverages our combined networks to provide efficient solutions for online and high street retailers.  Its network of parcelshops provides national consumer reach for deliveries and returns. Bespoke services for larger clients, serving their early morning and in-store requirements are a recent development in this rapidly evolving sector.


Dawson Media Direct supplies newspapers, magazines and inflight entertainment technology and content to over 80 airlines in 50 countries. Delivering to strict time windows with security accreditation, DMD serves the specialist needs of airlines and travel points in the UK and worldwide with printed and digital media.


Mixed Freight


Tuffnells is a leading distributor of mixed and irregular freight, serving approximately 5,000 small and medium sized enterprises across the UK.  Its network of 37 depots collects and delivers mixed parcel freight consignments, specialising in items of irregular dimension and weight ("IDW"), examples of which include bulky items, building materials and automotive parts.  With a mix of local and national clients, Tuffnells completes up to 70,000 daily deliveries, offering a range of timed services that are responsive to customer demand.


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