River Grove, IL, and Charlotte, NC - 5 September 2012 - Follett Corporation and Baker & Taylor today announced the sale of certain assets of Book Wholesalers, Inc., to Baker & Taylor. BWI is a Follett Corporation company that specializes in providing children's and young adult books and audiovisual materials to public libraries.
This transaction is the result of a strategic decision by the Follett School & Library Group to concentrate on the PreK-12 market. For Follett, Baker & Taylor's already powerful public library offerings made it the best choice to acquire these BWI assets.
"In this process, we felt it was imperative to find a distributor that would continue to provide outstanding service levels for our BWI customers," said Todd Litzsinger, president of Follett Library Resources. "Baker & Taylor is the right partner and the best choice to continue BWI's legacy."
The companies are confident this action is a positive one for customers in both market segments. For Follett, this allows its School & Library Group to pursue a growth strategy that focuses on its core competency of delivering products and services to the PreK-12 market. For Baker & Taylor, this transaction adds BWI's unique competencies in meeting the needs of children's and young adult librarians to its public library offerings.
"Baker & Taylor is privileged to work with BWI to offer customers the unique benefits and value of our programs and services," said George Coe, president of Library & Education at Baker & Taylor. "We are the industry's leading distributor to public libraries and have developed the tools they need for continued success, including the Axis 360 digital media platform, two-day fulfillment of cataloged and processed materials, standing order and collection development services, and much more. We know BWI customers will benefit from the breadth of our programs and the personalized approach we offer each and every day."
To ensure the transition is carried out as seamlessly as possible, a joint BWI/Baker & Taylor project team has been working closely to plan and prepare for an efficient process that focuses on the needs of all customers.
"Follett is working closely with Baker & Taylor to ensure that our customers will continue to have best-in-class customer service during the transition period," Litzsinger said. "As the changeover takes place, we'll keep our valued customers fully informed about next steps."
About Follett's School & Library Group
Follett is the largest provider of educational materials and technology solutions to PreK-12 libraries, classrooms, learning centers and school districts in the United States, and a major supplier to educational institutions worldwide. Follett distributes books, reference materials, digital resources, eBooks and audiovisual materials, as well as pre-owned textbooks. Follett also is one of the leading providers of integrated educational technology for the management of physical and digital assets, the tracking, storing and analyzing of academic data, and digital learning environment tools for the classroom focusing on student achievement.
Follett Corporation is a $2.7 billion, privately held company that provides products, services and solutions to the educational marketplace. Follett Corporation was founded in 1873, and today is headquartered in River Grove, Illinois.
About Baker & Taylor
Baker & Taylor Inc. is the world's largest distributor of books, digital content and entertainment products. The company leverages its unsurpassed worldwide distribution network to deliver rich content in multiple formats, anytime and anywhere. Baker & Taylor offers cutting-edge digital media services and innovative technology platforms to thousands of publishers, libraries and retailers worldwide. Baker & Taylor also offers industry-leading customized library services and retail merchandising solutions. Charlotte, N.C.-based Baker & Taylor is majority owned by Castle Harlan Partners IV, L.P., an institutional private equity fund managed by Castle Harlan, Inc., a leading private equity investment firm.