Baker & Taylor has acquired Blackwell Book Services North America from the U.K.-based Blackwell Inc. As part of the deal, which was completed today, B&T has also bought Blackwell’s Australia-based library supplier James Bennett, while Blackwell U.K. has acquired B&T’s Lindsay and Croft business in the U.K. Tom Morgan, B&T CEO, said the deal is “a great strategic fit for us in the U.S. and internationally.” The purchase adds approximately 1,000 new accounts to YBP.
Blackwell Book Services North America has offices in Portland, Ore,. and Blackwood, N.J. and will become part of B&T’s YBP Library Services unit. The transition to the YBP platform will take about a year, and B&T president Arnie Wight promises that YBP is developing a “customized plan” for each customer who is part of the transition. The integration of BBSNA will include moving its customer service and sales operation in Portland to YBP’s Contoocook, N.H. offices and transferring inventory from the New Jersey facility to B&T’s Indianapolis warehouse.
Wight said that by combining the best practices of both organizations, he expects to be able to deliver “more efficient services” to YBP’s accounts in the academic, research and special libraries market. Services that were unique to either Blackwell or YBP will eventually be offered to all customers. The addition of James Bennett will give B&T the opportunity to expand its services in not just Australia and New Zealand, but in the entire Far East, including China, said B&T library and education head George Coe.
The purchase will also enable B&T to leverage its digital services across a wider customer base. Coe noted that in the international market, many customers in the Far East buy more academic materials digitally than their counterparts in the U.S.
In addition to the acquisition, YBP will source all U.K.-published academic material from Blackwell U.K., and Blackwell U.K. will source all U.S.-published material from YBP.
The deal comes amid soft funding at many libraries. When the integration process is completed, BBSNA’s Portland and Blackwood facilities will be closed.