Competitors save 14 Wesley Owen branches

<p>Wesley Owen has confirmed that 14 stores have been saved after its parent company IBS-STL went into administration, with &quot;a healthy degree of interest&quot; in the remaining 26. IBS-STL&#39;s other businesses&mdash;Authentic Media and STL Distribution&mdash;have been bought separately.<br /><br />Russell Cash, partner at Baker Tilly Restructuring &amp; Recovery, said this morning (21st December) that eight stores had been bought by Christian bookseller Koorong, as well as the Wesley Owen trading name and website domain. <a href="../news/107408-wesley-owen-stores-enter-administration.html" target="_blank">The firm went into administration on Friday (18th December).</a> </p><p>Koorong has bought Wesley Owen stores in Bath, Birmingham, Bristol, Bromley, Colraine, Derby, Glasgow and York. Bookselling chain, Christian Literature Crusade International (CLC) has bought a further six stores including Bolton, Cambridge, Coventry, Guildford, Kingston and Stockport.<br /><br />Cash told <em>The Bookseller </em>the remaining stores would &quot;continue to trade for the foreseeable future.&quot; He added: &quot;I am hoping that there will be a solution for the majority of the 26 stores... there is a healthy degree of interest.&quot; </p><p>However, a resolution is not expected until the second week of January at the earliest. Cash explained: &quot;While 14 of the retail outlets are now being operated by CLC and Koorong, we are keen to explore interest in the remaining 26 stores with a view to securing a future in the medium to long term. Each of the stores are currently continuing to trade under our control.&quot;<br /><br />IBS-STL chief executive Keith Danby said he was &quot;delighted&quot; at the result. &quot;I could not have imagined five weeks ago such a positive outcome,&quot; he said. &quot;All along we have had three goals in mind - the continuity of the distribution of Christian resources, safeguarding as many jobs as possible, and finding purchasers who would invest in the businesses and take them to a new level. We believe all of the purchasers fit these aspirations and we wish them every success going forward.&quot;<br /><br />CLC&#39;s national director Phil Burnham said the company was committed to keeping the Christian bookshops open on the high street. &quot;In the light of so many bookshop closures throughout this year CLC considered it necessary to act. While on the one hand I wish that we at CLC could have done more, to have done nothing would have filled us with remorse. We continue to pray for our colleagues in the trade and at IBS-STL, each affected to a greater or lesser degree by the recent unfortunate events.&quot;<br /><br />Koorong has also bought Authentic Book Publishing and STL Distribution has been purchased by John Ritchie, a Kilmarnock-based book publisher and distributor based. IBS-STL-owned Authentic Music has been bought by Kingsway Communications. </p>