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Johnson "does not rule out" Phaidon stake
20.08.10 | Victoria Gallagher
Former Borders financier Luke Johnson has not ruled out investing in Phaidon Press after he joined the business as a non-executive director.
Two weeks ago, it was revealed Johnson was joining the illustrated publisher along with former HarperCollins m.d. Amanda Ridout, who has been appointed m.d.
In an interview with The Bookseller, Johnson said: "I met up with [owner] Richard Schlagman and I liked him very much. I guess he wanted someone to whom he could go for advice and someone with a bit of experience in the bookselling world." Johnson added that he "very much likes Phaidon’s output" with its focus on books with high production values on an international scale.
He said his role would be acting as a "classic" non-executive director, who will offer an "external perspective on the industry and how the business is run. I know quite a lot about the book world and the financial runnings of it," he added. Johnson said he has not currently invested any of his own money in the business, but future investment had not been "ruled out".
Johnson’s Risk Capital Partners investment firm bought Borders in September 2007 and owned it until former chief executive Philip Downer led a management buyout in July 2009. The private equity firm has also invested in restaurant chain Giraffe, womenswear chain East and Tile Depot.