Borders: The Week Ahead
The fate of Borders could well be decided by July 18. If no new bidder emerges by the July 17 deadline for bids, the chain will be acquired by a group of liquidators, led by Hilco and Gordon Brothers, and the July 19 auction canceled. The purchase would then be approved at a July 21 hearing, with a closing set for July 22, at which point going-out-of-business sales would begin. If other bidders do come forward, the July 19 auction will proceed as planned and a winner approved on July 21. If the new winner plans to operate Borders as a going concern, that deal has until July 29 to be completed. It is possible that if the liquidators emerge as the winners, the judge will hold a bifurcated hearing to discuss the future of assets other than inventory, such as intellectual property and leases.
Bloomsbury Buys Continuum For £20 Million
U.K.–based Bloomsbury Publishing has acquired the academic and professional publisher Continuum for £20.1 million ($32 million at current exchange rates). With operations in both the U.S, and U.K., Continuum had sales of £10.7 million ($17 million) in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2011, and is expected to post EBITA of £600,000 for the year. Bloomsbury has been expanding its international professional publishing businesses, and company chairman Nigel Newton said that Continuum will be the cornerstone of its growing academic business.
Is Follett in Play?
According to a report in the financial news service dealReporter, Follett Corp. has hired Credit Suisse to advise the college textbook wholesaler and bookstore operator to explore the possibility of selling the company or some of its divisions. Neither Follett nor Credit Suisse commented on the report to the dealReporter, which cited industry bankers as its source. Based in Illinois, Follett has annual sales of $2.7 billion through six divisions and is the second-largest operator of college bookstores in the country.
Bookstore Sales Up in May
Bookstore sales rose 1.5% in May, to $1.05 billion, according to preliminary estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau. The gain comes after a 1.8% increase in April, with both months benefitting from going-out-of business sales from stores that Borders closed in the period. For the first five months of the year, bookstore sales were up 0.5%, to $6.0 billion.
Zondervan Acquires The Beginner's Bible
Zondervan has acquired The Beginner's Bible from Mission City Press, which first introduced the popular line in 1989. Zondervan has served as the distributor of The Beginner's Bible since 1997, and its Zonderkidz group has managed the publishing program since 2004. Zonderkidz has steadily expanded the product line, and to date, over six million copies of The Beginner's Bible have sold in all editions.
PoliPoint Press Closes
After selling off 21 titles to Paradigm and Berrett-Koehler in May, PoliPoint Press, founded in 2004, closed on June 30. According to Monique Lusse, PoliPoint's director of finance and its sole remaining employee, rights to the balance of the press's 25 titles reverted back to the authors.