Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Najafi Sells Bookspan to Pride Tree

Publishers Weekly reported yesterday that the Najafi Companies, the mysterious holding company that bought the book- and music-club assets known by a bewildering array of names (Yes Solutions, Direct Brands, Doubleday Entertainment, Direct Group North America, Bertelsmann Direct, Bookspan, "the entity") from Bertelsmann back in 2008, has sold those assets to what seems to be an even more mysterious entity called Pride Tree Holdings.

Good luck to my old compatriots still working at the clubs, though this certainly doesn't look like a good sign from the outside. PW notes that the operation has been "steadily downsized in recent years," but all of the major clubs seem to still be running and Direct Brands is claiming 8 million members, which ain't chicken feed. Najafi is privately held, so no revenue or sales figures (or details on the Pride Tree deal) are or will be forthcoming.

From what I've heard, the downsizing has been the usual corporate type: get rid of half of the people and insist on running the same level of business. And we all know how well that usually works.

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