Blackwell sells US library supply arm

US distributor Baker & Taylor has acquired the North American division of Blackwell Book Services, bringing it under the management of B&T's YBP Library Services arm. The company has also acquired Australian firm James Bennett.

As part of the agreement, Blackwell in the UK has acquired B&T's bookselling business Lindsay and Croft. The entire deal was effective from 4th December.

Andrew Hutchings, group chief executive, said: "The combined organisations create synergies that neither organisation could offer on their own and that no other library distributor can match."

The two firms have entered into a "reciprocal supply agreement", in which Blackwell would supply UK-published academic books to B&T, and vice versa.

Users will soon receive a welcome letter, explaining further the transition plans. "In the weeks ahead you can expect detailed updates on the progress of this integration. Blackwell and YBP Library Services will work closely to ensure that your service needs are addressed thoroughly," Hutchings said.

"On behalf of Toby Blackwell, as well as for myself and the company I have represented these 22 years, I would like to thank you for your loyalty and for the confidence you have placed in us."

Speaking separately, Hutchings said the deal would allow Blackwell to focus on its "core markets" of the UK, Europe and Africa. "It puts the combined Blackwell retail and library supply business in a more secure position for the future," he added. "It will strengthen the business significantly."