October 30, 2018 / 9:12 AM / 2 years ago

WH Smith shares up 5 percent on deal for U.S. chain InMotion

File photo of pedestrians walking past a WH Smith shop in London, Britain October 6, 2008. REUTERS/Alessia Pierdomenico/File Photo

(Reuters) - British books, newspaper and stationery seller WH Smith took a step into U.S. airports on Tuesday by buying digital accessories retailer InMotion for 155 million pounds ($198.40 million), pushing its shares 5 percent higher in early trade.

Jacksonville-based InMotion operates 114 stores across 43 airports in the United States, selling products ranging from headphones and earbuds to portable speakers and action cameras.

WH Smith said in a statement announcing the purchase that it expects the deal to be cash flow accretive and will have no impact on plans announced earlier this month to buy back 50 million pounds worth of shares. ($1 = 0.7813 pounds)

WH Smith’s huge “Travel” network of airport, train station and workplace kiosks has fared better than a crumbling UK high street, helped by a boom in air travel, and now has 286 units outside its home market.

The company recently said it would close six of its high street stores and a franchisee initiative as part of restructuring to cope with weaker consumer spending.

Shares of WH Smith, was founded in 1792 and is one of the oldest chain stores in the world, were up 5.2 percent at 1824 pence in early trading on the London Stock Exchange.

Reporting by Karina Dsouza in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham

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