Baker & Taylor
Baker & Taylor, a distributor of books and entertainment, has been in business for over 180 years. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina and privately owned, in 2006 the firm had $2.2 billion in sales, employed 3,750, and was # 181 on Forbes list of privately owned companies. Current CEO is George Coe who replaced Marshall A. Wight who succeeded Jack Eugster as chairman and chief executive officer, having succeeded Richard Willis on January 4, 2008.
Baker & Taylor's core business distributes tangible media content (i.e., books, calendars, music CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray discs), digital content (i.e., ebooks and e-spoken word audio), and collection development and processing services to libraries throughout the world. Digital content is available through the company's Axis 360 platform via the Blio app or the Axi360 app in combination with the Axis Reader app. Its retail unit distributes approximately 1 million+ book titles and music CDs, DVDs, and Blu-rays to brick and mortar and Internet retailers (booksellers, craft stores, department stores, comic book stores).
Castle Harlan Partners is Baker & Taylor's majority owner, having acquired it from the investment firm Willis Stein & Partners. In 1994, it[which?] the Follett Corporation of River Grove, Illinois had intended to acquire Baker & Taylor from the then majority holder, the Carlyle Group, who was looking to sell its interest to concentrate on the defense industry.
In 1999, Baker & Taylor paid a settlement of $3 million USD to the US government to settle a federal lawsuit. The suit claimed that Baker & Taylor had overcharged the federal government, as well as state and local libraries using federal funds. These charges occurred after 1992, when Baker & Taylor was sold by its then-parent company, W. R. Grace and Company. Baker & Taylor denied all allegations.
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