Advanced Marketing Services has acquired two U.K. book distribution companies as part of its strategy to strenghten its worldwide distribution capabilities.

The two companies acquired last week, H.I. Marketing Ltd. and Cutsound Limited (known as Airlift Book Company), both have ties to AMS's Publishers Group West subsidiary. H.I. Marketing, which distributes about 20 U.S. and U.K. publishers, is the U.K. marketing representative for PGW. Airlift distributes books for more than 100 publishers to traditional and nontraditional markets, and a number of its clients are distributed in the U.S. by PGW. There had been reports earlier this fall that AMS was in talks to acquire Airlift (News, Nov. 4). The company specializes in the distribution of publishers that focus on the health and lifestyle category.

Terms of the acquisitions were not disclosed, although AMS reported that the two companies generate total annual sales of about $16 million. The companies will report to Mark Ouimet, executive v-p of marketing for PGW, and Mike Kidd, v-p of international operations.