Connect Group

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Connect Group PLC
Formerly called
Smiths News PLC
Traded as LSECNCT
Industry Distribution
Founded 2006
Headquarters Swindon, United Kingdom
Products Newspapers and magazines, consumables, books
Brands Bertram Books
Revenue Increase £1,089 million GBP (2014)[1]

Connect Group PLC is a specialist distributor, headquartered in Swindon, England. The company, originally known as 'WHSmith News' was created and renamed Smiths News PLC on 1 September 2006 from the demerger of W H Smith plc.[2] In April 2014, Smiths News PLC rebranded as Connect Group PLC to reflect the diversity of the Group's markets.

Connect Group PLC is made up of four divisions: News & Media (including Smiths News, the newspaper and magazine distributor); Books (including the book wholesaler Bertrams); Education & Care (including The Consortium and West Mercia Supplies); and Parcel Freight (including Tuffnells).


On 12 April 2006, the board of WH Smith PLC announced its intention to demerge the retail and news distribution arms of the business into two separate companies. The resulting companies are W H Smith PLC (continues as the retail arm), and Smiths News PLC (former news distribution arm).[3] The demerger took effect on 30 August 2006.

Rebrand to Connect Group PLC[edit]

On 17 March 2014, Smiths News PLC announced it would be renamed Connect Group PLC. This took effect on 22 April 2014 and introduced a divisional reporting structure, consisting of three divisions: Connect News & Media, Connect Education & Care and Connect Books. The trading companies, including Smiths News, The Consortium and Bertrams, will remain the same and continue to trade under their current names.[4]

Connect News & Media[edit]


Connect News & Media is made up of many businesses but that its main business is Smiths News, which delivers to 22,000 customers via its 46 distribution centres across the United Kingdom. It employs 4,312 people and has sales of £1,067 million. Its main competitors are Menzies Distribution. It currently has a 55% market share.[5]

Connect Books[edit]


On 20 March 2009, Bertram, a book wholesaler, entered administration and on the same day Ernst & Young sold the business to Smiths News for £8,611,622 in a "pre-pack" deal.[6][7] This division also contains Dawson Books, Erasmus and Wordery.[8]

Connect Education & Care[edit]

On 24 April 2012, The Consortium, a wholesaler to the education and care sector, was acquired by Smiths News PLC.

Connect Parcel Freight[edit]

In November 2014 Connect Group bought Tuffnells parcel delivery company for £113.4 million. [9]


  1. ^ Annual Report and Accounts 2014Connect Group. Viewed online, 21 March 2015.
  2. ^ Smiths News: about usSmiths News. Viewed online, 8 October 2006.
  3. ^ Separation of W H Smith Retail and News Distribution businesses via a Demerger — W H Smith PLC. Viewed online, 8 October 2006.
  4. ^ "Smiths News to vbe rebranded as Connect, severing its print history". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  5. ^ "News & Media division companies". 
  6. ^ Norwich Evening News 20 March 2009
  7. ^ Letter from Ernst & Young dated 26 March 2009
  8. ^ "Books division companies". 
  9. ^ "Connect Group acquires Tuffnells Parcel Express". 12 November 2014. 

External links[edit]