ABS enters administration

<p>Sales rep force Amalgamated Book Services has been put into administration after its owner and director Richard Squibb suffered a stroke last month. </p><p>The decision to wind up the company, believed to be due to a combination of Squibb&#39;s bad health and financial difficulties, leaves six full-time members of staff at risk of losing their jobs.</p><p>Shortly before closure on 24th July, ABS co-director and Richard&#39;s wife Sarah told client publishers that she felt unable to continue supporting the company given the circumstances. </p><p>Despite having &quot;streamlined ABS over the last nine months&quot; the company had &quot;unfortunately lost several clients this year, and . . . it has become clear that ABS cannot carry on without more funding,&quot; Squibb explained in a letter to publishers. The most recent company accounts, which cover the year to end-2007, showed a loss of nearly &pound;50,000, compared with a profit of more than &pound;260,000 in 2006. </p><p>Last year, <em>The Bookseller</em> revealed that distributor Art Books International, owned by the Squibbs&#39; company Vine House International, had gone into voluntary liquidation and was facing legal action from at least 12 publishers.</p><p>ABS&#39; results show ABI owed nearly &pound;11,000 at the balance sheet date.</p><p>Ms Squibb was unavailable, and administrator John Walters declined to comment. However, Paul Cook, senior account manager for the Uckfield-based ABS, said: &quot;Obviously it&#39;s a sad and worrying time for the staff [but] I have received a lot of messages of support.&quot; </p>