The Federal Trade Commission is reportedly conducting a “preliminary nonpublic investigation” about booksellers’ use of major wholesalers, Shelf Awareness reports, and telling some interview subjects that the queries are related to the possibility of Ingram acquiring Baker & Taylor. One person interviewed characterized it as a “fact finding” mission to investigate the effects of a consolidation that would leave the industry with a single major wholesaler, servicing both retail and library markets. ABA CEO Oren Teicher said, “To our knowledge, there has never been an instance in the book business when the elimination of competition–and a further concentration of decision-making in fewer hands–has […]
Abrams has cancelled publication of controversial graphic novel A SUICIDE BOMBER SITS IN THE LIBRARY by writer Jack Gantos and illustrator Dave McKean, which was to be released in May 2019. The decision was made “together with the book’s creators,” after the title received criticism online. Abrams said in a statement, “While the intention of the book was to help broaden a discussion about the power of literature to change lives for the better, we recognize the harm and offense felt by many at a time when stereotypes breed division, rather than discourse.” The cancellation follows posts on Twitter by Zainab […]
Three months after announcing “exclusive negotiations with Grupo Planeta,” last week in reporting third quarter earnings Vivendi said it had signed a share purchase agreement for French publishing group Editis. The deal requires approval from the French Competition Authority, though Vivendi says preliminary “favorable opinions” were issued on November 8, and September 13. They hope the deal will close “in late 2018 or early 2019.” Beyond that, there are no new details about the terms. They reiterate their previous statement from the summer that Editis’s enterprise value is €900 million.
Trustbridge Global Media, an affiliate of Shanghai-based private equity and venture capital firm Trustbridge Partners, bought children’s publisher Peachtree Publishers in a deal that closed November 7. The company will now be called Peachtree Publishing Company. Based in Atlanta, the publisher has operated since 1977, and maintains a backlist of adult titles in addition to children’s books. Trustbridge acquired Holiday House in 2016, and former Peachtree owner Anna Quinlin, who stays on as president and publisher, said this is the “best model” for how Peachtree operations will look. She stated that Trustbridge is “keen to expand children’s content into other areas” but for […]
The WSJ names the “book retailer” that made offers to buy Barnes & Noble last spring that fell apart on June 19, as described in Demos Parneros’s defamation and breach of contract lawsuit against the retailer, and the company’s answer to those charges and countersuit. “People familiar with the situation say it was WH Smith PLC, a UK retailer that sells books, stationery and other products.” Though the Journal does not mention it, that makes sense contextually given where WH Smith turned next: Their deal announced October 31 to acquire US travel electronics retailer InMotion for $198 million. In announcing […]
The two largest North American printers are becoming one: Wisconsin-based Quad/Graphics will buy its primary competitor, print services provider LSC Communications (the print spin-off from RR Donnelley). The all-stock deal is valued by the company at about $1.4 billion (perhaps expressing the enterprise value, since the value of the stock exchange looks to be more like $380 million). LSC shareholders will receive 0.625 shares of Quad Class A common stock for each LSC share they own, paying what’s deemed a premium of 34 percent. The acquisition, not expected to close until mid-2019 and pending shareholder and regulatory approval, would nearly […]