Penguin Random House US is set to acquire the book publishing assets of F+W Media following the media company’s bankruptcy, with the effects on F+W's UK division unclear.
The deal, which includes F+W's new titles and 2,000-strong backlist of illustrated non-fiction books, according to Publishers Weekly, is expected to close by the end of the month. PRH declined to comment on the sale when contacted by The Bookseller.
PRH posted the winning bid in an auction held on Thursday 6th June by the US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. The list of successful bidders for the “communities” assets of F+W - separate to its book publishing assets - was submitted for approval to the court yesterday (Monday 17th June).
F+W Media is a global media and e-commerce business which publishes books, magazines and operates websites that serve different categories and subjects.
The UK division, F&W Media International, is based in Exeter and is a wholly owned subsidiary of F+W Media Inc. It is one of the leading publishers in the craft category, with new books publishing under its SewandSo imprint. The company distributes all F+W Media books in the UK and in international export markets including brands such as Interweave, Quilting Company, Artist’s Network and Writer’s Digest. It has also been developing a assisted publishing model, whereby self-published illustrated publishers can work with the company to access its global books distribution and supply chain, according to its website.
Eight members of staff are listed on the F+W Media International website including UK m.d. James Woollam. It is not yet known how the sale will affect UK employees. F+W has not responded to The Bookseller’s request for comment.
F+W's parent company filed for bankruptcy in March, according to Publishers Weekly, with a range of reasons for the company’s descent into bankruptcy listed, including the decision in 2008 to focus its efforts on selling content and other products in its communities directly from various company-owned websites. F+W shifted emphasis in this way to combat the sales decline of print materials, particularly of magazines.