AMS Bankruptcy: The Canadian Connection

By Carmen Comment

At Quill & Quire, Leigh Ann Williams probes what the AMS Chapter 11 filing means for Canadian publishing, as the company includes not just PGW but Publishers Group Canada (PGC), and also holds a 25 percent stake in Raincoast Books, PGC’s parent company. “It’s not how we’d like to start the year,” said PGC executive vice president Graham Fidler. “Raincoast, operationally and financially [is] completely independent of AMS, so it is absolutely business as usual. At this point, we are certainly shipping books through Raincoast, we continue to receive books from PGW, and we don’t foresee that changing any time soon.”

But one concern within Canadian publishing is that the bankruptcy will prompt AMS to sell its share in Raincoast. “As with any bankruptcy, companies look at a range of alternatives to strengthen their financial base, and that’s what AMS will be doing, and a sale of assets will be one of them,” AMS spokesman Rich Tauberman said. “It’s still early days, I don’t think anything has been firmly decided on, but they have been working with an investment bank looking at a bunch of different opportunities.”

Which is why Fidler spent the weekend talking with PGC’s biggest American clients, such as Grove, Avalon, and New World Library, as the effect on PGW clients may have a domino effect on PGC. But Fidler remains optimistic. “People I’ve spoken to …have shown great loyalty to PGW and would really like to see PGW come out of this.”