Booktopia Group says it has sold its stake in publishing business Welbeck ANZ, losing $1.6 million on the short-lived joint venture. The online book retailer sold its shares to its joint venture partner Welbeck Publishing Group (UK) for £838,350 ($1.5 million), representing a $500,000 gain on book value, but well below the $3.1 million it paid last year. Booktopia took a 25 per cent interest in the business in a deal that included a distribution agreement, now dissolved. “Despite the de
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te the decision to exit the investment in the local operation, Booktopia and Welbeck Publishing Group UK will continue to build on their relationship with the proposed distribution of Booktopia-published books into the UK market,” Booktopia’s new chairman Peter George said in a statement.
At the time the deal was announced, Booktopia’s then-CEO Tony Nash said the standalone Australian subsidiary would distribute around 250 new titles each year and backlist 5000 titles directly into the local market.
“The Welbeck Publishing Group is on a fast track to becoming a major player in the global independent publishing world,” said Nash.
“As a shareholder in Welbeck ANZ we will be able to champion their international and local titles into the Australian market. They have 4500 titles on their list already and it continues to grow.”