Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Baker & Taylor Sells BTMS to Readerlink, YBP to EBSCO

Publishers Lunch

A formal announcement is expected on Monday detailing a sale of Baker & Taylor's Baker & Taylor Merchandise Services (BTMS) unit to ReaderLink, consolidating the latter's leading position distributing books to warehouse clubs and mass merchandisers. BTMS is based around the assets acquired in bankruptcy from Advanced Marketing Services (AMS) in 2007, servicing the wholesale club business. ReaderLink is also acquiring the former AMS publishing lines (including Thunder Bay Press, Silver Dolphin and Portable Press) as part of the transaction. PGW has been the distributor of those imprints. ReaderLink mentioned the acquisition -- agreed to some time ago, and awaiting clearance from the government, now resolved -- at their annual meeting last week, with an emphasis on the expansion opportunities presented by the publishing portion of the deal.

ReaderLink acquires BTMS's office in San Diego, a distribution center in Indianapolis, and a modest editorial office in Ashland, OR. While Baker & Taylor president of retail markets David Cully declined to specify the size of the book publishing lines sold, he did tell us the business "is considerable, and it has grown significantly over the past 5 to 6 years." (The last time there was a regular, public reporting on the publishing imprints, for the fiscal year ending March 2003 -- before their former parent AMS began to collapse -- the Advantage Publishing Group had reported publishing sales of $73 million.)

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