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Hachette’s Perseus sale “terminated”

PerseusAfter a delay in July, Hachette Book Group’s purchase of publishing and distribution company Perseus Books Group has been cancelled.

In June, Hachette announced its plans to buy Perseus’s (mostly non-fiction) publishing divisions, with its sales, marketing, and distribution arm to be sold to Ingram Content Group. According to Publisher’s Lunch, Perseus CEO David Steinberger said, “Despite much effort from all three parties, we could not reach agreement on everything necessary to close the transaction.”

Hachette confirmed the news, stating that the deal had been “terminated.” The Perseus deal would have strengthened Hachette’s non-fiction and backlist offerings and increased its U.S. presence, amidst its ongoing battle with Amazon.

Steinberger told the Wall Street Journal that with the deal cancelled, he was “excited about re-engaging.” Perseus “had a strong fiscal 2014 ended June 30 and is focused on moving forward.”

What is unclear is the future of Perseus’s distribution network, including Publishers Group West, which represents Canadian indies such as Greystone Books, Groundwood Books, and Owlkids Books. It also includes Legato Publishers Group, a boutique publisher services organization that represents Toronto’s ECW Press. As part of the deal, Legato would have been folded into PGW, with company president Mark Suchomel scheduled to leave Aug. 1. Publisher’s Lunch confirms that “Suchomel is still on staff for now, and Perseus ‘will be discussing’ the future of Suchomel and Legato internally.”