Sale of Follett subsidiary costs 90 local jobs
McHENRY – Follett Corp. announced Wednesday that it is selling Book Wholesalers Inc. in McHenry which will result in the loss of 90 local jobs.
Affected will be about 50 jobs at Book Wholesalers Inc,, a Follett company that specializes in providing children's and young adult books and audiovisual materials to public libraries.
The remainder of the local job cuts will come at Follett Library Resources, also located in McHenry.
Follett's proprietary library assets are being sold to North Carolina-based Baker & Taylor Inc., one of the world's largest distributors of books, digital products and entertainment products.
"All we're saying at this time is that we expect there to be some opportunities in the future for BWI employees to consider, but we don't have any details yet," said Baker & Taylor spokeswoman Kimberly Kuo. "There are a lot of things that will be ironed out over the transition period of 60-90 days."
Follett Corp. spokesman Tom Kline said 1,200 will remain employed in the McHenry area with Follett Corp. companies, including Follett Library Resources, Follett Software and Follett International.
The sale price was not disclosed.
Kline said the transaction is the result of a decision by the Follett School & Library Group to concentrate on the K-12 school market. For Follett, Baker & Taylor’s public library offerings made it the best choice to acquire these BWI assets, he said.
“In this process, we felt it was imperative to find a distributor that would continue to provide outstanding service levels for our BWI customers,” said Todd Litzsinger, president of Follett Library Resources. “Baker & Taylor is the right partner and the best choice to continue BWI’s legacy.”
River Grove-based Follett Corporation is a $2.7 billion, privately held company that provides products, services and solutions to the educational marketplace. Follett Corp. was founded in 1873.
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