HMH Redoing Debt
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, still struggling with a heavy debt burden despite an earlier capital restructuring, is once again looking to rework its debt. In an announcement May 11, the company said it had reached an agreement with 70% of its lenders that will eliminate $3.1 billion of debt and reduce its annual interest payments by about $250 million. As part of the restructuring, HMH will soon file for prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Sara Nelson Joining Amazon
Sara Nelson, book editor for O, The Oprah Magazine, is moving to Amazon, where she will be editorial director, Amazon.com Books. A spokesperson for Amazon said Nelson “will be leading our editorial vision for books in the print and Kindle bookstores on Amazon.com.” In her new role, Nelson is expected to give a fresh look and voice to the books home page. Nelson will be based in New York.
AAR Urges Members to Protest DoJ Ruling
The Association of Authors Representatives sent a letter to its members on May 8 outlining the position of the AAR board on the DoJ lawsuit against five publishers and Apple, and urged its members to write their own thoughts about the settlement to the department. The letter stated that the settlement presents issues that “are of crucial importance to our (and our clients’) industry and individual livelihoods.”
BAM Forms Buyout Committee
Books-A-Million’s board of directors has formed a two-person special committee of independent directors to examine the proposal made by the Anderson family to acquire all of the outstanding shares of the book retailer for $3.05 per share. The announcement was made as the offer comes under attack as undervalued from a number of quarters.
Pocket Star to Be E-book Only
Simon & Schuster is relaunching its Pocket Star mass market line as an e-book–only imprint. Pocket Star will continue to feature authors in popular genres and will feature a mix of new and old titles, with most being new.