Thailand’s leading book retailer In Thailand, English is increasingly becoming the preferred language of the white-collar workforce – and the bridge between locals and expatriates. As the popularity of English grows, so does the demand for English literature, books and magazines of the sort sold by Asia Books, a chain of bookstores located across Thailand. In March 2006, Actis acquired a majority stake in Distri-Thai, a retailer and wholesaler of foreign language books and magazines in Thailand. In September 2007, Distri-Thai merged with Asia Books, to create a business with 71 retail outlets and a dominant market share in both the retail and wholesale markets. After the merger, Actis’s goal was to strengthen the company’s market position and drive growth and profitability by improving the network of retail outlets. Though Thailand has been troubled by political instability, its economy grew at approximately 9% in 2010. Asia Books has a bright future, with its growing domestic market supplemented by a new e-commerce offering. In 2011, Actis exited Asia Books via a sale to Thai conglomerate Berli Jucker Public Company Limited.

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