Specific details have not been disclosed, but Publishers Lunch has learned that the deal is dead. Citing an email from Perseus CEO David Steinberger, they write:
“The planned transaction involving our company, Hachette and Ingram is not moving forward,” Steinberger wrote. “Despite much effort from all three parties, we could not reach agreement on everything necessary to close the transaction.”
Hachette added in a statement of its own that “the planned transaction involving HBG, Perseus, and Ingram has been terminated. Despite great effort from all three parties, we could not reach agreement on all of the issues necessary to close the transaction.” (A spokesperson for Ingram declined further comment other than to confirm the deal was off.)
The deal had been announced in June, and then delayed until the end of July. It would have reportedly added around $100 million annually to Hachette’s bottom line.
That would have amounted to a negligible increase in Hachette Livre’s $2.8 billion in global revenue, but it would have helped the US division by adding revenue that they sorely needed in light of the negative revenue growth due to the ongoing contract dispute with Amazon. That includes a backlist of around 6,000 mainly nonfiction titles, which would have helped diversify Hachette’s catalog.
The deal would have also boosted Ingram’s distribution business by around $350 million, annually, boosting its income several times what it is now. Ingram Publisher Services distributes for about 90 clients, while Perseus distributes over 350 publishers in print and Constellation services a comparable number in digital. The deal would have turned Ingram into the largest book distributor in the country had it gone through.