Perseus sells client services business to Ingram

Perseus sells client services business to Ingram

The Perseus Books Group has confirmed it is selling its client services business to Ingram only days after confirming the sale of its publishing business to the Hachette Book Group (HBG).

Once the deal is finalised, Ingram and Perseus’ client services businesses will serve more than 600 publisher clients.

Perseus Distribution comprises four publisher services brands: Publishers Group West (PGW), Consortium Book Sales & Distribution, Perseus Distribution Services and Legato Publishers Group. The company also has Perseus Academic (for university presses), Perseus Academic and Constellation (a digital asset management and distribution service).

The acquisition price was not disclosed and the deal, which is subject to certain conditions, should close at the end of March.

John Ingram, chairman and c.e.o. of the Ingram Content Group, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming new colleagues from Perseus and publisher clients from Perseus distribution to Ingram Content Group. Perseus’ distribution companies have built strong businesses with solid reputations. We’re pleased about the opportunity to combine them with our own publisher services group, Ingram Publisher Services, to build an even better company for our industry.”

Perseus president and c.e.o. David Steinberger added: “The commitment to independent publishers enabled our people to build the industry’s leading client services business. So we are very pleased to have found such a good long-term home for that business with Ingram, a company with a longstanding reputation for excellence.”

Perseus is owned by private equity firm Centre Lane Partners and has an office in London.

Commenting on the deal, Oneworld's publisher Juliet Mabey said: "We are hopeful that [Perseus'] fantastic operation and wonderful staff will continue very much on a business as usual basis. They would be very hard to match, and having built up a great working relationship with them over the last five years, we'd really hate to part ways."

Andrew Franklin, founder and m.d. of Profile, said the deal was "good news" for the book trade. "What this shows is you can't trust a private equity firm to run a book business. The best people to run book businesses are book business people. This ends a period of uncertainty for the business."

He said the only downside was that the deal "reduces choice" for independent publishers but added: "This situation is nothing like an Amazonian monopoly."

Faber c.e.o. Stephen Page agreed the deal is good for publishers, saying: "Ingram is a fantastic partner for the services side of business. It is brilliant at what it does and has a powerful reach in the US."

Earlier this week, HBG announced its plans to buy the publishing business of Perseus Books Group. The deal nine Perseus imprints - Basic, Public Affairs, Running Press, Avalon Travel, Seal Press, academic textbook publisher Westview Press, the Weinstein Books and Nation Books - comprising of around 6,000 titles.

An original deal for Hachette Book Group (HBG) to buy Perseus, and for Ingram Content Group to buy Perseus’ client services businesses from HBG, was announced in 2014. However, that deal fell through when the companies involved failed to make an agreement on the transaction.