Private equity firm Endless has sold British Bookshops & Stationers to its management for an undisclosed sum, it has emerged.

Endless bought the loss-making bookseller from Irish retailer Eason in May last year and said action taken means it is likely to return to profit in 2010 “for the first time in several years”.

The private equity firm said: “Endless has extensive experience of turnaround in the retail sector and from our due diligence we were able to establish a plan which we believed would transform the business, returning it to profitability in the short term.

“The plan comprised a radical operational restructuring to reduce the cost base and significantly improve the retail offering and product range to improve sales and margins.”

British Bookshops, which has 40 shops in southern England and 400 staff, was sold to management last month. Endless said it has “provided a working capital facility to the business in order that the management team can continue the very good work done to date”.