With John Wiley having sold the largest, and most valuable, properties of its consumer publishing program to Google and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the company is likely to close down the remaining businesses by the end of its fiscal year in April if no deals can be reached, executives told analysts in a conference call discussing second quarter results. CEO Steve Smith said that Wiley is still in conversations with potential acquirers, but is “well prepared” to wind down the businesses if no transactions can be completed.
The largest remaining assets, the pets imprint Howell House and Wiley’s nautical list, would yield modest sales, CFO Ellis Cousins added. “We’re behaving from a publishing perspective as if we’re winding those businesses down, so we’re not engaging in new publishing, so to speak,” Ellis said. “The plan is to run that business through the next few months to its logical conclusion.” In addition to Howell and nautical, other parts of the business for sale are crafts and general interest.