In a deal that combines two of book wholesaling's largest companies, Baker & Taylor has acquired the J.A. Major Company, a major distributor of STM titles to the medical bookstore and library markets. Based in Dallas, Majors has an inventory of more than 135,000—titles, and its purchase significantly expands B&T's presence in the STM field. "We were looking for a company with expertise in health science, and Majors is the leader in the field," said Bob Agres, CFO for B&T.

Majors, which will retain its name, will become a division of B&T and will remain in Dallas. The management team, headed by Jam Majors, company president, and Al McClendon, executive v-p, will also remain. Both men will report to Richard Willis, B&T chairman.

Jam Majors, whose grandfather founded the company in 1909, said the purchase by B&T gives Majors "a chance to become part of a larger concern that should strengthen both companies." He acknowledged that the STM market faces challenges in the form of high book prices and greater use of electronic publishing, but he said Majors has developed a number of electronic initiatives to address those issues that could be expanded under B&T.

Majors has about 156 employees and operates two warehouses. The warehouse in Dallas will remain open, but the facility in Atlanta, which has about 20 employees, will be closed by year's end. B&T has a major warehouse in Commerce, Ga., about two hours away.

Majors Scientific Books, which operates medical bookstores in Dallas and Houston, is not part of the deal.