January 18 – January 25, 2007 Edition

Court Names

CreditorsÂ’ Committee

For AMS Bankruptcy

NEW YORK, NY/1/17/07—Delaware’s U.S., Bankruptcy Court yesterday named a creditors’ committee to represent the interests of unsecured creditors in the Advanced Marketing Services (AMS) bankruptcy case, but denied customers of PGW, a distributing arm of AMS, the right to form a second creditors committee to represent small presses.

The new committee will be comprised of three large publishers and two independent houses. They include: Random House, Penguin, Hachette Book Group, the three largest houses, and independents Grove/Atlantic and Wisdom Publications. The two small presses are both PGW clients, which may be a way for the Courts to give small presses more debtor clout in the case.

Meanwhile, various entities are trying to put forth proposals to rescue PGW and a number of small client publishers who may have been hurt by the bankruptcy. In 2000, AMS formed a new distribution arm, Advanced Global Distribution (AGD), to serve small-to medium-sized publishers. Two years later, the company acquired Publishers Group West (PGW), the largest distributor of independent publishers in North America. PGW and AGD were folded together into what later became Publishers Group worldwide.

Avalon Publishing Group hinted last week, after announcing Avalon’s sale to Perseus Books Group, that Perseus would further develop its distribution services to independent publishers, a move that could involve a distribution deal with Advanced Marketing Services, Inc. (AMS).

This week, Publishers Marketing Associates (PMA) is offering small publishers with PGW what it calls “a life line”–to find short-term interim loans for impacted publishers, to help them source other distributors and to find short-run printers to help shore up inventories.