Smiths News is to buy the book publishing arm of former newstrade rival Dawson for £20m.

The deal will boost revenues at Smiths’ books business, Bertrams, by around a third. It also marks the end of Dawson as an independent company, two years after its news wholesale business, Dawson News, collapsed.

Smiths chief executive Mark Cashmore said the deal represented “an excellent opportunity to strengthen one of our core businesses”.

“The transaction creates immediate value for our shareholders while we continue to focus on our long term strategy to diversify revenues and profits,” he said.

Dawson chief executive Hugh Cawley added: “The combination will provide our businesses with the opportunity to grow during the next stage of their development as part of an enlarged group, with the benefit of an expanded offering and international footprint.”

Smiths claimed it could achieve cost savings of almost £4 a year by 2014 as a result of the deal.

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