MAIN NEWS HEADLINES
January 10 – January 17, 2008 Edition
Baker & Taylor CEO
CHARLOTTE, NC/1/4/08–Baker & Taylor, Inc. announced today that Richard Willis has resigned as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Baker & Taylor, one of the world’s largest book and entertainment distributors.
Mr. Willis stated: “I wanted to spend more time with my family. I would like to thank the people at Baker & Taylor for their tremendous efforts, as we have nearly doubled sales to over $2 billion over the last four years.”
Gary B. Appel, Vice Chairman of Castle Harlan, Inc., a leading private equity firm with a controlling interest in Baker & Taylor, said, “Mr. Willis has added significant value to Baker & Taylor over the years. He has shepherded the Company through a tremendous period of growth. We thank him and wish him well in his future endeavors.”
Jack W. Eugster, a member of the board of Baker & Taylor, has been appointed Chairman of the Company, effective immediately. Mr. Eugster was Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Musicland Stores, Inc., a retail music, home video and book company, from 1980 until his retirement in 2001. From 2001 to 2005 he was the non-Executive Chairman of Shopko Stores, Inc., a general merchandise discount store chain.
Arnie Wight will continue to serve as the most senior operating officer in his role as President of Baker & Taylor, working with all of the existing senior divisional managers.
About Baker & Taylor, Inc. Baker & Taylor, Inc. (www.btol.com) is a global information and entertainment services company that offers books, videos, music, games and services to libraries, educational institutions, and retailers. Based in Charlotte, N.C., the Company has been in existence for over 176 years, developing long-term relationships with major suppliers, including book publishers, movie studios, and music labels. Baker & Taylor maintains one of the largest combined in-stock book, video and music inventories in the United States, and services the broadest customer base in the industry. Baker & Taylor is majority owned by Castle Harlan Partners IV, L.P., a leading private equity investment firm.
About Castle Harlan Castle Harlan, Inc., founded in 1987, invests in controlling interests in the buyout and development of middle-market companies in North America and Europe. Its team of 19 investment professionals in New York has completed 48 acquisitions since its inception with a total value in excess of $9 billion. The firm traces its roots to the start of the institutionalized private-equity business in the late 1960s. Castle Harlan’s current portfolio companies, which employ more than 42,000 people, include Ames True Temper, a leading manufacturer of lawn and garden tools, and Perkins & Marie Callender’s, Inc., which operates and franchises 618 family restaurants in the U.S. and Canada.
In July 2007, Advanced Marketing Services filed a court motion claiming that Baker & Taylor has unlawfully withheld $6.2 million owed to the bankrupt AMS as part of B&T’s acquisition of a large share of AMS assets. Baker & Taylor, which acquired most of AMS’s assets for $20 million in March 2007, was to make additional payments over a three month period, bringing the total sale price to about $76 million.