Thomas Nelson, which has been looking to sell its C.R. Gibson gift division since April (News, April 30), has reached an agreement to sell the unit to CRG Acquisition Corp. for an undisclosed price. Nelson hopes to complete the deal by the end of the month.
Joseph Moore, an executive v-p of Nelson and president of Gibson, will continue as Gibson president following completion of the deal. Moore, son of Nelson chairman Sam Moore, will give up all operational roles at Nelson, although he will continue to serve on the publisher's board of directors. Gibson is expected to continue to operate from its Nashville headquarters, and the current staff of 150 will remain intact.
Nelson acquired Gibson in 1995 and, although the company completely restructured Gibson's operations, it was never able to effectively integrate the gift unit into its core book business. In a last-ditch effort to improve Gibson's results, Nelson hired former Spring Arbor president Fran Salamon in December 2000 as chief operating officer, but Salamon resigned her position at Gibson in August. Gibson lost $6.3 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2001, on sales of $83.8 million.
Gibson's new parent company, CRG Acquisition, is a private investment group that is associated with Treat Entertainment and Anderson News Corp., which both also have ties to Books-A-Million. In the most recent fiscal year, BAM bought $3.1 million worth of books and collectibles from Treat and $31 million from Anderson News. Anderson and Treat are owned by members of the Anderson family, and other Anderson family members control BAM.