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NZ's Largest Books And Stationery Chain

Tuesday 16 August 2005

Paper Plus Postal Deal Creates New Zealand's Largest Books And Stationery Chain

Paper Plus (NZ) Ltd has further strengthened its relationship with the New Zealand Post Group by purchasing the 33 store Books & More franchise chain.

The purchase has created a combined Paper Plus Group totalling 192 outlets, ranging in location from Kaitaia to Invercargill and trading under four brands; Paper Plus with 83 stores, Paperplus Books five, Take Note 71 and now Books & More with 33.

As a result of the agreement the number of stores within the Paper Plus Group that include PostShops will almost double to 63.

Under a separate agreement a preferred New Zealand Post 'hosting agreement' has also been signed by the Paper Plus Group which has the potential over time to provide consumers with even greater access to banking and postal services throughout the country. Each Books & More store currently hosts a full service PostShop providing a range of postal products and services including bill payments and, in most cases, Kiwibank.

Paper Plus CEO Rob Smith said he is delighted with the deal, which he expects to provide strong benefits for customers, local communities and both groups of franchisees. "One advantage is that the bigger group will have stronger buying power and will therefore be in a position to provide a more attractive offer for customers from a motivated, locally owned kiwi franchise network.

"The ownership of Books & More remains firmly in New Zealand hands, after being 50% owned in recent times by UK, US and Australian interests. That has to be good for the country." he added.

New Zealand Post COO Customer Solutions, Paul Hutchinson, said the decision to sell the Books & More business to Paper Plus and enter into a more formal relationship for future PostShop franchises had been driven by a number of factors. These included New Zealand Post's focus on growing postal and banking products and services rather than running a book and stationery franchise business.

"Providing postal and banking services in a books and stationery outlet is something New Zealanders want. By focussing on our core strengths, New Zealand Post and Paper Plus can deliver our customers a consistent offer. We are delighted that the Books & More business will stay New Zealand owned and we are enthusiastic about its future potential," he said.

Mr Smith added that where there is a Books & More store in the same location as a Paper Plus or Take Note, the businesses will continue as usual. No changes will be made at Books & More outlets for at least the next 12 months.

The sale is effective from 1 September 2005.

ENDS

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