Baker & Taylor
Baker & Taylor, a distributor of books and entertainment, has been in business for over 180 years. It is based in Charlotte, North Carolina and currently owned by Follett Corporation. Before being acquired by Follett in 2016, Baker & Taylor had $2.26 billion in sales, employed 3,750, and was # 204 on Forbes list of privately owned companies in 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 Axis360 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.
Arnie Wight became president of the company on May 23, 2007. Jack Eugster became chairman and chief executive officer, replacing Richard Willis, on January 4, 2008. Thomas Morgan took over the CEO role on July 7, 2008. In January 2014, George Coe replaced both Wight and Morgan as president and CEO.
In February 2015, Baker and Taylor's publishing group and U,S. marketing services were acquired by Readerlink Distribution Services. Under the acquisition agreement, Readerlink took over ownership of the firm's 504,000 sq. ft. Indianapolis distribution center, as well as their general offices in San Diego and editorial offices in Ashland, Oregon. Baker and Taylor (UK) and B&T (Mexico) were not included in the acquisition, and will remain subsidiaries of Baker & Taylor. A Readerlink spokesperson said no offices, distribution centers, or operational changes were planned, and indicated that all current management and employees of the acquired divisions were joining the Readerlink.
In April 2016, Baker and Taylor was acquired by the Follett Corporation of Westchester, Illinois. According to The Chicago Tribune, the deal could boost Follett’s annual revenue by as much as 40 percent—from $2.6 billion to $3.6 billion.
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.
In 2009, Baker & Taylor bought the North American arm of Blackwell UK as well as Blackwell's Australian library supplier, James Bennett. In return, Blackwell acquired the UK-based Lindsay and Croft from Baker & Taylor. Blackwell's North American division was merged into Baker & Taylor's YBP Library Services.
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