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Waterstones, formerly Waterstone's, is a British book retailer that operates 275 stores and employs around 3,500 staff in the UK and Europe as of February 2014. Established in 1982 by Tim Waterstone, after whom the company was named, the bookseller expanded rapidly until being sold in 1993 to W H Smith. Bought again in 1998 by Waterstone, EMI & Advent International, the company was taken under the umbrella of HMV Group, which later merged the Dillons and Ottakar's brands into the company. Following several poor sets of results for the group, HMV put the chain up for sale. In May 2011, it was announced that A&NN Capital Fund Management, owned by Russian billionaire Alexander Mamut, had bought the chain and appointed James Daunt as managing director.
As well as the Waterstones brand, the company owns the London bookseller Hatchards, and Irish store Hodges Figgis. An average sized Waterstones store merchandises a range of approximately 30,000 individual books, as well as stationery and eBook readers. The bookseller has concession agreements with Costa Coffee, Starbucks and Paperchase in certain stores and since 2012, has introduced their own Café W brand.