General Publishing Co. has voluntarily filed for bankruptcy, after the lifting of a CCAA (Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act) order. On April 30, General received a stay order under the CCAA (akin to the U.S. Chapter 11), granting the company time to restructure. The bankruptcy filing effectively ends General's run as an viable company; a receiver will be appointed in the next few days to sort through its remaining assets and liabilities.

Before filing for bankruptcy, General found new homes for several of its divisions, including Boston Mills Press, Irwin Publishing, Stoddart Kids and House of Anansi.

Firefly Books bought Boston Mills Press for nearly C$1 million ($560,000). The price includes the purchase of the company, the authors' unpaid royalties and other payables, which Firefly will assume, including ones to small creditors. Firefly president and publisher Lionel Koffler explained, "We want to make sure that all the authors and small creditors, many of whom are freelance designers, aren't left out in the cold. We want as many people as possible to have good feelings in this renewed enterprise and not feel that they were stiffed."

While Firefly will be acquiring the majority of the shares, Boston Mills' publisher John Denison—who will remain in the position of publisher—will become a minority shareholder. Boston Mills' list focuses on trains, aviation, travel, antiques and outdoor life. Although some Boston Mills books slated for the fall season will be postponed, Firefly plans to republish about 40 titles that are out of stock or in need of revision within the next 12 months.

Nelson Thomson Learning, a division of Thomson Canada, bought Irwin Publishing, a Toronto publisher of textbooks and multimedia materials. Marlene Nyilassy, Nelson's v-p of human resources, said, "We're very pleased. It's a very strong list and a very strong customer base."

Fitzhenry & Whiteside acquired Stoddart Kids on August 2. "We are delighted to welcome all of the Stoddart Kids authors and illustrators into the Fitzhenry & Whiteside family and look forward to working with our new colleagues while continuing to publish our established authors and illustrators," the company said in a statement to PW. Nelson Doucet, former president of General Publishing, has also found a new home at Fitzhenry & Whiteside as the president of its trade group.

In June, House of Anansi Press was purchased by Scott Griffin and Anansi's management (News, June 24).