At a hearing yesterday, the court overseeing the proceedings in the AMS bankruptcy case approved the purchase of the PGW name plus the assumption of leases on offices in New York and Berkeley, Calif. by Perseus Books Group. Earlier this month, Perseus offered $80,000 to acquire the name as well the leases, which includes picking up the rent obligations on the office. The court also approved an agreement between Baker & Taylor and AMS to settle a dispute about how much money B&T owed AMS for acquiring a substantial amount of AMS assets.
Perseus president David Steinberger said he “couldn’t be more excited” about acquiring the PGW name, which is said “has always stood for the best in distribution services.” The PGW name will continue to be used by the sales and marketing team the represents PGW publishers, which is headed by Susan Reich. According to Reich, the acquisition “is the final period in putting a bad period behind us.”
The PGW unit includes about 55 people in Berkeley and 10 in New York. With the approval of the transfer of the office leases, Avalon Publishing, acquired by Perseus earlier this year, will move into PGW’s Berkeley offices around December 1. “We’re back together again,” Reich said. Prior to the sale of PGW to AMS, the distributor and the publisher were both owned by Charlie Winton, who now heads the indie publisher Winton, Shoemaker & Co. LLC.
Also yesterday, the court approved the payment of $1.8 million by B&T to AMS to meet the terms of the final portion of the sales agreement between the two companies. Earlier this summer, AMS had filed a motion with the court charging that B&T wrongfully withheld $6.2 million when it made its final payment for the AMS assets it acquired. The two companies reached a preliminary settlement earlier this month.