Baker Publishing Group and Gospel Light have announced that Baker will acquire Regal Books, the trade line of Ventura, Calif.-based Gospel Light. In a statement, Baker president Dwight Baker and Gospel Light interim CEO Stan Jantz said they expect the sale to be finalized by June 30. Jantz stated that the sale of Regal Books—founded in 1965 by Bill Greig Jr.—will allow Gospel Light to focus on its core mission of producing curriculum for churches, Sunday schools, and Vacation Bible Schools, the purpose for which Henrietta Mears founded the press in 1933.
Under the terms of the deal, Baker will acquire Regal’s backlist, frontlist, and forthcoming books, some 625 print titles, Dwight Baker told PW. “The Regal brand will remain with Gospel Light, so we will not add to our divisions. Regal works will be folded into our four trade divisions--Bethany, Revell, Chosen, and Baker Books.” Among the bestselling authors on Regal’s list are George Barna, Dutch Sheets, John Perkins, and Norm Wright, which Baker noted are a good fit for his existing programs. “From an editorial perspective, we would have difficulty distinguishing Regal from our current trade divisions anyway, so this agreement does simplify matters,” he said.
Baker Publisher Group, a family-owned company celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, is based in Grand Rapids, Mich. Baker acquired Christian fiction publisher Bethany House in 2004, growing its number of divisions to five, including a scholarly publishing division with the imprints Baker Academic and Brazos Press. Baker published 90 Minutes in Heaven under its Revell imprint in 2004; the book spent over five years on the New York Times bestseller list and has sold more than 6 million copies. A 10th anniversary edition will be released in July.