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Exclusive: Bookbaby to be Spun Off Following Acquisition of Parent Company AVL Digital Group


Here’s an important piece of ebook news from last week that literally no one has noticed yet.

The parent company of Bookbaby, AVL Digital Group, announced last Wednesday that it has been acquired for roughly $200 million. The buyer, Downtown Music Holdings, is buying the music distributor and many of its various subsidiaries, including CD Baby.

CD Baby CEO Tracy Maddux will oversee the new Downtown-owned AVL unit, which will continue to be based in Portland Oregon. The sale price has not been disclosed, and the deal is expected to close in April.

That is the story that was reported in the music news sites last Wednesday (I found it on DMN).

Here’s the story that no one else has yet.

This acquisition does not include Bookbaby, Disc Makers, or Merchly. AVL CEO Tony van Veen tells me that the management team has acquired these three divisions under a new corporate parent called DIY Media Group.

Bookbaby President Steven Spatz confirmed the news to me during a phone call Sunday evening, adding that "We bought the New Jersey-based brands – DM, BB, Merchly – because we believe that authors, artists and filmmakers will always need physical products to get their content into the marketplace. In fact we’ve invested heavily in the most ancient of physical mediums – book printing and binding – over the last 18 months. We’re a 74 year old company that’s been evolving over the decades, at the forefront of music and publishing technologies on behalf of indie content creators. DIY Media Group will be continue to focus on 'helping the little guy look big' in the competitive music and publishing marketplace."

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