Gardners to reopen Bertrams’ Norwich warehouse

From The Bookseller:

Gardners will reopen the Bertrams warehouse in Norwich after buying the assets of the stricken business. Gardners said the move would give it extra warehouse capacity in addition to the Eastbourne operation and allow it to continue to expand its range and stockholding.

However, the move won’t help those owed money by the now defunct Bertrams business, with publishers still advised to petition the administrator for the payment of their debts; it is also as yet unclear how many of the staff made redundant will be taken on by Gardners, as it works to reopen the operation. Nevertheless, the move is a positive one for the trade, as it increases the capacity of the Gardners wholesaling business, and re-establishes a second operation in the middle of the country.

The wholesaler and distributor purchased the assets of Bertram Trading Limited, which includes the assets of Bertram Books, Bertrams Library Services, and Dawson Books–including the physical building for five years on the lease and some machinery–though it has not bought the trading company and will not trade in Norwich as Bertrams using its name or brand.

. . . .

Nigel Wyman, head of sales and marketing at Gardners, confirmed that although the company had acquired Bertrams’ assets, it had not taken on any of its liabilities. 

He said in a statement: “We strongly believe this will further enhance the opportunity to work even closer with retailers and publishers to grow sales in all channels at home and abroad in these very changing and varied times.

“For our suppliers and customers there will be little visible operational change and all will continue to interact, communicate and order with their established Gardners contacts and departments from the Eastbourne operation as they do now.”

He also said: “We have been looking to expand for some time and ultimately, by having an additional warehouse in Norwich, this gives us the capacity, especially going into Q4.

“Our main driver behind that purchase was to enable us to support the industry over the coming six months and beyond and make sure we have the stock range and availability to support booksellers, whether they’re an independent or an online seller or any type of bookseller really.

“We have purchased the assets, so what we have built is a ready-made warehouse, which we have to bring into line with our own business. This is a positive message: it is to support that growth and to support the industry.”

Link to the rest at The Bookseller

Lots of bargains in many business bankruptcies if the purchaser has cash.

PG predicts more bargains in the future from the traditional publishing business.

3 thoughts on “Gardners to reopen Bertrams’ Norwich warehouse”

  1. Nigel Wyman, head of sales and marketing at Gardners, confirmed that although the company had acquired Bertrams’ assets, it had not taken on any of its liabilities.

    No duh. who is going to buy liabilities?

    • Felix provides a more complete discussion, but it is a rare bankruptcy that doesn’t stiff or partially-stiff at least some of the creditors.

  2. It depends on who is selling and what and who is buying and why.

    Elliot bought B&N’s debt in order to keep the publisher contracts and stock; during Borders’ bankruptcy nobody was willing to assume the full debt. When the big publishers were unwilling to settle for less it pushed the restructuring into a liquidation sale.

    Here they were already in liquidation and the buyers were only buying the warehouses and contents, not the company, staff, or contracts.

    They were in the same business so they don’t need the name, staff, or contracts. No need to take on debt. The statement is just a notice to publishers: “Don’t bother calling, we don’t owe you nothing.”

    In contrast, Elliot wasn’t in the US book retail business so assuming the debt was part of the deal. And it not only got a going concern, but also reduced their upfront payment.

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